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United States Department of Agriculture

Updated May 2024


John Ackerly, President of AGH, is joined by other biomass non-profits and industry advocates at the 2013 signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the USFS.

The USDA leads on a broad spectrum of food, agriculture, natural resources, and rural development policy issues. When it comes to wood heating, the nation often looks to their U.S. Forest Service (USFS) agency as a leader on policy and innovation. The USFS and the Alliance for Green Heat (AGH) have over a decade old track record of working together to research and educate on wood heating. Beginning in 2011, USFS’s Wood Education and Resource Center  (WERC) funded the “Transforming Wood Heat in America'' policy toolkit. In 2013, AGH was one of four non-profits and four industry groups that worked with the USFS to put out a Memorandum of Understanding to promote biomass utilization in rural communities. In the same year, the USFS was a sponsor of the Wood Stove Decathlon

Since 2022, AGH has administered funds to firewood banks across the country in partnership with the USFS. Beginning in 2024, AGH started a project in partnership with the USFS’s WERC to expand firewood bank services and promote healthier homes for low-income wood stoves users. 

A USFS program to expand and create markets for wood products and wood energy that support long-term, sustainable management of National Forest System lands and other forest lands, the Wood Innovations Program hosts two national grant programs. The Wood Innovations Grants Program, launched in 2015, has a focus on mass timber, renewable wood energy, and technology development. The Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovation Grant Program, launched in 2020, provides grants to install community wood energy systems or for the building of wood product manufacturing facilities. 

Grant Opportunities

Wood Innovations Grant Funding Opportunity - Next application period expected October 2024

Groups can apply for this grant in the following focus areas: mass timber, renewable wood energy, and technological development that supports hazardous fuel reduction and sustainable forest management. The goal of these projects should be to expand and support U.S. wood product markets and wood energy markets. 

A part of the larger Wood Innovations Program, the Wood Education Resource Center (WERC) functions as both a physical hub for training in Princeton, West Virginia and a virtual hub for technical assistance related to forest products. They host the National Wood Energy Technical Assistance Team which evaluates and develops community projects for heating or combined heat and power.


Grant Opportunities

Community Wood Grant Funding Opportunity Program - Next application period expected October 2024

These grants go to projects that intend to install thermally led community wood energy systems or to build innovative wood product manufacturing facilities. The grant program places emphasis on assisting sawmills in economically challenged areas.

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