This week, the USDA announced that Colorado is the recipient of a quarter-million-dollar grant to promote the development of wood-to-energy projects in the state. The grant will help foresters and researchers address forest health and wildfire concerns by accelerating the establishment of wood-energy facilities and technologies that use woody biomass.
The Colorado State Forest Service received the three-year, $250,000 grant from the USDA Forest Service, Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC) through a second round of funding from the national program.
“We look forward to the opportunity to increase the use of woody biomass in Colorado, which will help improve the health and resilience of our forests,” said Tim Reader, utilization and marketing forester for the CSFS-administered Colorado Wood Utilization and Marketing Program (CoWood).
Under the grant, private, state and federal organizations will work together to stimulate the development of wood-energy projects in Colorado. The funding will help establish wood-energy facilities that obtain and utilize woody biomass from National Forest and adjacent lands and communities, through direct technical and financial assistance, education and outreach. Specific goals include strategically identifying and engaging new wood-energy candidate communities and facilities, providing technical workshops, and developing a new e-book application to help facilities become biomass-ready.
To promote wood-to-energy efforts, the CSFS is leading a team which includes representatives from the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship at Colorado State University, Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Bihn Systems LLC, New West Business Development and USDA Forest Service Region 2.
For more information about the Colorado Wood Utilization and Marketing Program, go to http://csfs.colostate.edu/cowood/index.html.