Milwaukee, WI – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is supporting the development and expansion of forest markets by awarding eight grants totaling nearly $1.45 million through the agency’s Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC). Grants were awarded to programs in Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

“We are proud to provide funding for these projects that support the wood products industry by developing new markets, expanding existing markets and developing information that can be used by land managers and policymakers interested in maintaining working forests,” said Robert Lueckel, Acting Eastern Regional Forester. The funds for the grant with the University of Georgia Extension were provided by the Forest Service’s Washington Office.

Located in Princeton, West Virginia, and administered by the Forest Service, WERC partners with the forest products industry on sustainable forest products in the 35 states of the eastern hardwood forest region. WERC provides state-of-the-art training, technology transfer, networking opportunities, applied research and information. Visit for more information.

2020 WERC Wood Forest Markets Projects:

University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. – Georgia

The Southern Regional Extension Forestry office will provide external communications support to the Forest Service by documenting Wood Innovation grants and partnership success stories and strategizing the national Wood Innovations brand expansion through the development of a new national Wood Innovations webpage.

Regents of the University of Minnesota – Minnesota

Conduct a comprehensive assessment of several eastern softwood species peeler logs to determine the technical and economic fitness of these species for laminated veneer lumber production.

Missouri Department of Conservation – Missouri

Explore utilization options for small-diameter shortleaf pine in Missouri by identifying the status of shortleaf pine resources, identifying potential markets for resource utilization, and analyzing production options.

North Carolina State University – North Carolina

Provide workshop training to expand market knowledge and utilization capacity of eastern hardwood timber species.

Wilson Engineering Services, PC – Pennsylvania

Provide professional engineering assistance to early-stage wood-to-energy projects across the U.S. as requested by state, private and federal partners. Wilson Engineering will also support preliminary carbon modeling work on eastern forests.

Penn Soil Resource Conservation and Development Council – Pennsylvania

A team will evaluate the carbon, economic, and community impacts of management strategies that attempt to maximize carbon dioxide sequestration through forest management. The team includes Forest Service State and Private Forestry staff supported by consultants with experience in forest and carbon modeling.

Ligwood, LLC – Wisconsin

This project will develop lignin-based carbon foams utilizing waste byproducts from paper mills. This will help reduce landfill waste and offset petroleum usage in the production of carbon foams, which are used in applications including fireproof wall core material, energy-absorbing structures and blast protection systems.

Resources for the Future, Inc. – District of Columbia

The project will quantify how markets for wood products, including bioenergy, could alter demands for timber and influence restoration economics. The results are intended to inform dialogue on the potential returns of demand-enhancing policies.