Missouri can tap into $50 million that the Biden Administration is making available to make forests healthier that support rural economies. Three tiers of funding will support forest management projects that improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk. Lew McCreery with the U.S. Forest Service tells Missourinet that a number of entities can apply for funding.

“The eligibility is very broad, it really is,” said McCreery. “State agencies, tribes, local governments, for-profit businesses, non-profit entities, and special districts like conservation districts or school districts.”

The funds, made possible through the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is designed to create new markets for wood products.

McCreery says innovation is key.

“If there’s interest, if there’s an entity that thinks they have an innovative use of a forest resource for an economic, a new product, or expanding an existing product, they’re eligible,” according to McCreery.

What kind of project examples is McCreery talking about?

“Let’s say there’s an existing sawmill out there that, right now, they just produce green lumber,” McCreery said. “One of our grants could help them add a kiln or several kilns to their facility which would allow them to produce kiln-dried lumber, which is a value-added product. They’d receive more for kiln-dried lumber then they would for green lumber.”

Proposals are being sought to build low-carbon buildings as a renewable energy source, along with manufacturing and processing products.

To apply and to get more details, visit the U.S. Forest Service webpage.

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