Six Northern Region businesses receive USDA funds to advance innovation in wood products and wood energy economies
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: June 21, 2023

Missoula, Mont. (April 12, 2023) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last week it is investing more than $43 million to expand innovative uses of wood, including as a construction material in commercial buildings, as an energy source, and in manufacturing and processing input for wood products used in framing homes, making paper products and more.

Made possible in part by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, these funds are being invested in 123 projects nationwide through Community Wood Grants and Wood Innovations Grants – longstanding Forest Service grant programs that promote innovation in wood products and renewable wood energy economies. Since 2015, the Wood Innovations and Community Wood Grant programs have provided more than $93 million to 381 recipients to support wood products and wood energy projects.

Projects in Montana include:

Tech Woods USA:  $997,912 for the Mission Mountain wood innovation project.

Meadowlark Log Homes Inc: $300,000 for an electric kiln for faster log drying, improving quality in log home construction.

Atelier Mey Architects:  $227,500 for Shared Stewardships: Prototyping mass timber mid-density, mid-town housing communities.

National Museum of Forest Service History: $150,000 for The National Conservation Legacy Center: Showcasing wood innovations throughout history.

Projects in Idaho include:

Burbidge Custom Timbers LLC:  $300,000 for timber manufacturing efficiency optimization.

Valley County: $150,000 for a woody biomass pilot program.

Funded proposals under these USDA grant programs expand and retrofit wood energy systems and wood products manufacturing facilities and develop markets for innovative uses of mass timber and renewable wood energy. Projects also help to restore healthy forests and reduce wildfire risk, protecting communities, infrastructure and resources while curbing climate change. Grant recipients include for-profit entities, state and local governments, tribes, school districts, community-based non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, and special purpose districts.

The investments announced directly support the Forest Service’s 10-year strategy to address the wildfire crisis in the places where it poses the most immediate threats to communities. Healthy, resilient forests depend on a healthy forest products economy, and the Forest Service is investing in projects that source wood from activities that reduce risks to communities, like fuels treatments and mechanical thinning.

For more information on the projects funded under the Wood Innovations and Community Wood grant programs, visit


The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.  The Forest Service’s Northern Region includes nine National Forests and 1.2 million acres of National Grasslands in North and South Dakota.  These public lands provide timber for people, forage for cattle and wildlife, habitat for fish, plants, and animals, and some of the best recreational opportunities in the country.

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