Tag: U.S. Forest Service

Forest Service Extends Wood Innovation Grant Deadline

The U.S.D.A. Forest Service announced that the Wood Innovations Grants deadline, originally scheduled for Jan, 23, has been extended to Feb. 25 due to the government funding shutdown.

The Forest Service invites grant applications for projects that expand wood product and wood energy markets, reduce wildfire risk, and improve forest health.

Grants provided through the agency’s Wood Innovations Program simultaneously boost local economies while helping make communities safer through the reduction of hazardous fuels on the landscape.

In 2019 the program will invest up to $8 million in projects designed to have a long-term impact on both Forest Service and other forest lands. Funding is available to support a diverse range of activities, such as completing the engineering designs, cost analyses, and permitting necessary in the final stages of commercial construction projects that use wood as a primary building material; establishing Statewide Wood Utilization Teams and Statewide Wood Energy Teams; and developing clusters of wood energy projects in a geographic area.

Since 2005 over 310 grants have been awarded to small businesses, non-profits, institutions of higher education, tribes, states, and local governments to promote the economic and environmental health of communities. Since 2013, this funding has also helped establish 10 Statewide Wood Utilization Teams and 22 Statewide Wood Energy Teams that collectively expand and support wood products and wood energy markets.

Information on how to apply is available on the Wood Innovations homepage.

The mission of the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains world-renowned forestry research and wildland fire management organizations. National forests and grasslands contribute more than $30 billion to the American economy annually and support nearly 360,000 jobs. These lands also provide 30 percent of the nation’s surface drinking water to cities and rural communities; approximately 60 million Americans rely on drinking water that originated from the National Forest System.



How to Improve Yields Milling ‘Out of Shape Logs’

“There are opportunities for improving yield in out-of-shape hardwood saw logs. Good decision-making is important. To maximize the yield and economic value of the end products, have a plan before the log is opened up. Th ere are more critical decisions to be made on the outside of a log than the inside, because that is where most of the clear wood is located. Finally, maximizing yield has to be in balance with sawing times, and thus sawing costs.”

This is just a sampling of the advice served up in a 2014 report authored by Neal Bennett of the U.S Forest Service, Northern Research Station, in Princeton, WV. The title of the report is “Sawing Methods for Improving Lumber Yield Recovery of Out-of-Shape Hardwood Saw Logs.”

Here’s the abstract: “Not every saw log is straight and cylindrical in shape. In fact, logs are commonly out-of-round, tapered, or crooked, and often a combination of these shapes. Sawmill operators employ every means to recover as much yield as possible from each log. Yield recovery can be the difference between a profitable and a non-profitable log. There are opportunities for improving yield in out-of-shape hardwood saw logs while still maintaining lumber quality.”

The report includes milling strategies for logs that are out of round, tapered or crooked.

Read the report.



U.S. Forest Service Strategizes Woody Biomass Utilization

Woody-Biomass-Utilization-PublicationThe U.S. Forest Service offers a variety of resources for woody biomass utilization, including a 22-page downloadable publication. The Forest Service’s strategy includes promoting and offering guidance on the removal of woody biomass from federal and private lands to achieve “a variety of critical benefits.”

Goals of the Forest Service’s woody biomass program include:

  • Identify and build partnerships through collaboration;
  • Develop and deploy the needed science and technology;
  • Help develop new and expanded markets for bioenergy and bio-based products; and
  • Facilitate a reliable and sustainable supply of biomass.

Learn more about Woody Biomass Utilization.

 



USDA Webcast Series Tracks Urban Wood Market Developments

Urban-Wood-Webcast-1.10-15A free webcast updating wood utilization activities in Baltimore, southeast Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas and Georgia is available on demand from the Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC).

The webcast, recorded Oct. 13, is the 10th in a series available for binge watching on WERC’s website. The first webcast in the series was produced in October 2011.

Edith Makra, chairperson of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, has been a regular presenter during the life of the series.

Here’s a link to the October 13, 2015: Urban Wood Utilization Webcast.

Click http://www.na.fs.fed.us/werc/eab.shtm to access the Webcast archives.

 



Hats Off to an Urban Wood Pioneer

By Rich Christianson

For those of us who think the concept of converting dead or dying urban trees into valuable lumber is a 21st century construct, think again.

I literally stumbled upon this YouTube video of a Sept. 17, 1993 report from ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. In fact, I was only the second viewer when I did so. It’s about George Hessenthaler of Salt Lake City, UT. He was inspired to start Uniquest Industries, a business focused on turning logs destined for landfills into value-added lumber.

Soon after the ABC News report aired Hessenthaler renamed his enterprise more aptly Urban Forest Wood Works and moved it to nearby Logan.

Talk about an urban wood pioneer!

In an October 2001 report, “Utilizing Municipal Trees: Ideas from Across the Country,” Stephen Bratkovich, then with the U.S. Forest Service and now a consultant/project manager with Dovetail Partners of St. Paul, MN, attributed the following quote to Hessenthaler: “Anything made from wood can be from urban forest wood.”

A May 2013 article in the Logan Herald Journal noted that Hessenthaler was then observing his 25th anniversary of repurposing otherwise discarded urban wood. A former public relations man turned cabinetmaker turned sawyer, Hessenthaler estimated that he had sawn 500,000 board feet of lumber from more than 20 difference species of urban forest trees.

I think this quote from the Herald Journal’s interview with Hessenthaler sums up why so many groups are springing up across the country, including the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, dedicated to creating a sustainable market place for urban wood. “A tree grown in the city, after it’s given its 50, 60, 80 years of shade and comfort and pleasure is greeted with a horrible demise because it’s cut into chunks and burned, or taken to the dump, and I think it has a higher and better use. It has a greater destiny than being cut into firewood, so I hope a customer, when he or she buys a box will realize it’s been made out of a tree that would have otherwise been dumped in the landfill.”

Right on, George!