Winter Timber Sale

Grants available for Wood Innovation projects

Some consider targeting the region’s surplus in pulpwood

MADISON, Wis. – Innovative programs to use the Lake States’ surplus of pulpwood were the focus of discussion at the Wisconsin Council on Forestry meeting on November 17. A large Wood Innovation grant program will be available in 2022 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It offers two grant opportunities at $250,000 and $1,500,000.

Applications for the grants are due by January 19, according to Patrick Raffold, a wood utilization specialist with the USDA. In discussing the innovation grants, Raffold noted the deficit of hardwood pulpwood utilization in Wisconsin, including for use in manufactured wood or pulp.

A study by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources noted that the state had a surplus of 207 million cubic feet of lower quality wood in 2019. It also noted that Wisconsin paper mills imported over $400 million worth of wood pulp from foreign countries in 2018, with the largest quantity being eucalyptus shipped from Brazil. The pulp made in the state comes from pulp mills colocated with paper mills or owned by companies that also own paper mills.

Raffold said that larger grants generally require applicants to secure matching funding or “leverage.” The smaller $250,000 grants may be funded completely. Raffold said that one recent $250,000 grant in the Lake States was awarded to Kretz Lumber for purchase of a wood-fired boiler to use in its manufacturing operations.

He noted the grant award process is competitive and recommended that parties interested in applying for a grant contact his colleague Lew McGreery (lew.mcgreery@usda.gov) for assistance assessing their idea.

More information on the grant program is available here:
https://usfs-public.app.box.com/s/5d54g6jcil9c5yp554hdsmpjsahpaatc

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