News Release

Agriculture Under Secretary Dorr Awards Nearly $4.2 Million to Local Projects Using Woody Biomass

Federal grants support the Healthy Forests Restoration Act aimed at reducing the risk of wildfire and providing economic incentives to rural communities

MISSOULA, Mont.
April 24, 2006 -

Agriculture Under Secretary Thomas Dorr today announced nearly $4.2 million in grants to 18 small enterprises to develop innovative uses for woody biomass in national forests as sources of renewable energy and new products.

"This grant program helps to reduce the risk of wildfires by removing built-up fuel hazards and improves forest health," said Dorr while here to announce several Earth Day initiatives by USDA. "In addition, these projects give an economic boost to our rural communities, increasing the nation's sources of renewable energy."

This year's recipients were selected based on a number of factors, including those that make it economical to remove woody biomass for forest lands and turning it into marketable products, while reducing the costs of recovery. In addition, grants were awarded for projects targeted at removing economic and market barriers in using small-diameter trees and woody biomass.

All 18 grant recipients must match the federal portion by at least 20 percent. Together with the non-federal matches, approximately $13 million will be spent on this effort. The grant recipients are:

1. Big Valley Power (Redding, Calif.), $241,500

2. CAWACO RC&D Council (Springville, Ala.), $243,500

3. Greenleaf Forestry and Wood Products, Inc. (Westcliffe, Colo.), $243,500

4. Lake Tahoe Unified School District (South Lake Tahoe, Calif.), $243,500

5. Montana Community Development Corporation (Missoula, Mont.), $228,000

6. Morgan Timber Products (Bellvue, Colo.), $221,500

7. Mt. Taylor Machine, LLC (Milan, N.M.), $243,500

8. Olguin's Saw Mill (El Prado, N.M.), $243,500

9. Roseberry Timber Inc. (Crescent, Ore.), $243,500

10. Rough & Ready Lumber Co. (Cave Junction, Ore.), $243,500

11. Round Valley Wholesale Lumber Inc. (Eagar, Ariz.), $243,500

12. Sherry Barrow Strategies (Ruidoso, N.M.), $243,500

13. Skyline Forest Resources, Inc. (Escalante, Utah), $235,800

14. Southwest Forest Products Inc. (Phoenix, Ariz.), $243,500

15. Town of Red River (Red River, N.M.), $69,700

16. Vaagen Bros. Lumber Inc. (Colville, Wash.), $243,500

17. Warm Springs GeoVision (Warm Springs, Ore.), $240,800

18. Western Moulding Co., Inc. (Snowflake, Ariz.), $243,500

Woody biomass includes trees, woody plants, limbs, tops, and needles that are byproducts of ecosystem restoration and hazardous fuel reduction activities in national forests and grasslands. Accumulation of this material can provide fuel, which can increase the intensity and spread of wildfires. Many communities across the United States have begun to use biomass byproducts to manufacture specialty products, generate energy, such as steam and electric, and for a variety of other uses, such as garden mulch.