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W ood Education and    Home Wood Education and Resource Center
Resource Center Update  

July 2016
U.S. Forest Service Awards Funds to Expand, Accelerate Wood Energy and Wood Products Markets in 19 States

Forty-two proposals submitted through the Forest Service's 2016 Wood Innovations grant program were selected for funding. Eighteen were funded in the wood energy category and 24 were funded in the wood products category. Over $8.5 million of Forest Service funds will leverage over $18 million in investments from partners, resulting in a total investment of $27 million in 19 States. See this
USDA Office of Communications bulletin for more detail.
For a list of the selected 2016 Wood Innovations grant recipients, click here . For additional information about the Wood Innovations Funding Opportunity, go to the WERC Web site. Once there, go to the Wood Innovations box on the right side of the page.
WERC Wood Energy Technical Assistance Team 

The WERC Wood Energy Technical Assistance Team is working with GSA Greening staff to evaluate the use of wood energy at several GSA facilities in the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Draft reports are completed and we are awaiting comments from facility managers.

The Team is working with the Baltimore City School District to evaluate the use of wood at the Poly-Western High School. A draft report was sent to district facility staff for review. Dan Rider of the Maryland Forestry Service is working with the Team to identify the wood supply for the project.

The Team is working with the Vermont Statewide Wood Energy Team (SWET) to support projects identified by SWET and the Vermont Public Service Clean Energy Program. The Team has reviewed 16 project proposals and provided design guidance to the Clean Energy Program. This program has funded 10 projects and has included WERC recommendations in their contracts. Clean Energy Program funding for these projects is part of the Vermont SWET matching funds.

The Team is also providing support to the Wisconsin Statewide Wood Energy Team. The Team recently completed a preliminary wood energy feasibility study for LaGrander's Cheese in Stanley, WI. The owners are currently reviewing the study to determine if they want to carry out the project.

The Team recently completed a review of the new LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system for green buildings. The focus of the review was on the level of LEED points that would be awarded to a building that uses wood in its construction and the use of wood as a renewable energy source for the building. This analysis is currently being reviewed and will soon be placed on the WERC Web site. 
North American Urban Wood Directory Entries Sought

The Full Circle Urban Forest Network (FCUFN) is compiling a North American Urban Wood Utilization Resource Guide. The guide will include listings of national, state, and municipal Web sites that can help connect custom woodworkers with local sawyers who mill logs from landscape and community trees into lumber and slabs.
In addition to being posted online, the directory will be distributed at the International Woodworking Fair where the FCUFN is organizing a special 90-minute seminar, "Urban Wood Utilization: Making Wood Products and Profits from Landscape Trees." The seminar is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, August 26, at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Interested parties are invited to submit links to resourceful urban wood Web sites for possible inclusion in the guide. These include state small-scale and portable sawmills and state and municipal urban wood exchanges, among others.
Web site resource examples include these:
Submit Web site links to Rich Christianson, Communications Director, Illinois Wood Utilization Team, at or by calling 773-822-6750.


Workshops and Webcasts
Urban Wood Utilization: Making Wood Products and Profits from Landscape Trees
August 26, 2016
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern
International Woodworking Fair
Georgia World Congress Center
Atlanta, GA

Sessions include how to find sources of urban wood, the unique source local/buy local marketing appeal of urban wood products and the interesting stories they tell, environmental advantages of utilizing urban wood, and an opportunity to get answers to questions posed to a panel of seasoned urban wood product experts.

For more information, contact Rich Christianson, Communications Director, Illinois Wood Utilization Team, at or by calling 773-822-6750, or go to the International Woodworking Fair Web site.

Urban Wood Utilization Webcast
October 11, 2016
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern
The focus will be on state and regional updates of urban wood utilization.
Use this link to attend the Webcast. To connect via telephone conference line, dial 888-844-9904 and use Access Code 7578516.

The Future of the Hardwood Lumber Industry: Wood Industry Week @ WERC
November 2 & 3, 2016
Wood Education and Resource Center
Princeton, WV
Conference themes include:
  • The Future of our Raw Material
  • Technologies of the Future
  • Markets - Now and in the Future.

For more information, contact Urs Buehlmann at
540-231-9759 or go to this conference's Web site.


Al Steele's Notes
Cross-Laminated Timber
An interesting segment on cross-laminated timber appeared on the CBS News Magazine show "Sunday Morning" a couple of weeks ago. If you haven't seen it, it's worth taking the time. This is a nice reinforcement of forestry's role in supporting positive responses to climate change.


Carbon Storage in Forests
Want to know how much carbon is in your forests? An EPA Web site enables you to "Examine estimates for total carbon storage in forests in the contiguous United States and trends for how stored carbon changed from 1990 to 2013." Additional information from the Web site says, "The tool is divided into three 'exhibits': a graph of total forest biomass in the contiguous United States, by forest component, 1990-2013; a map of forest biomass in U.S. counties per square mile of land, 2013; and a map of percent change in carbon stored in U.S. forests, by county, 1990-2013." View additional information at the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit Web site .


Wood Fiber Cost Benchmarking Effort
Want to know some of the reasons why the pulp and paper industry particularly struggles in the Northeast and Midwest or why a lot of the pellet fuel industry development has been in the south? Forest2Market provides a nice summary of current conditions .


Carbon Content in Products
The General Services Administration, which is the part of the Federal government that handles a large proportion of government purchases, is experimenting with developing greenhouse-gas related "contract requirements based on anticipated cost savings and environmental impact reduction opportunities, unique to each procurement and market sector." Take a look at GSA's trial program.


States Discuss Biomass and Its Use as Part of a Clean Power Plan Compliance Strategy
EPA's Clean Power Plan (CPP) plays a central role in the Obama Administration's efforts to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs). Focused on reducing GHGs from electrical power production, the CPP allows for biomass to be a compliance strategy, but puts it on the shoulders of states in their State Implementation Plans to essentially prove that biomass use will result in reduced GHGs. Though not particularly clear, EPA suggests in the CPP that issues such as what types of biomass will be considered (referred to as qualified biomass), how use of that biomass will result in lower greenhouse gases, and how it is only this qualified biomass that's entering the system (monitoring and verification) must be spelled out in State Implementation Plans and approved by EPA. View additional information at the 25x'25 REsource blog site .


Standard & Poor's "Scores" Companies on Climate Vulnerability
Standard & Poor's is a large company that provides rating services of financial entities and governments, among others. In a recent report , Standard and Poor's "considers that if authorities further delay taking the necessary steps to address climate change, the negative long-term effects on financial services as a whole could be profound." The article goes on to say that while it remains difficult to specifically quantify the risks, S&P uses a set of "indicators" to gauge which companies might be "hardest hit" by climate change and which are "best positioned to benefit from the opportunities climate change may create."  View the full report .


Archived Workshops and Webcasts
Firewood Workshop
April 21, 2016
Western Maryland Research & Education Center
Keedysville, MD

This 1-day educational and networking event provided the latest knowledge on processing, kiln drying, and marketing of firewood to the firewood processing industry. For more information about workshop results, contact Harry Watt , North Carolina State University's Wood Products Extension, 704-880-5034, or   Jonathan Kays , University of Maryland Extension Program, at 301-432-2767. View the Firewood Workshop presentations .

Urban Wood Utilization Webcast
April 12, 2016
Presentation topics included updates on the Tree Care Industry Association's draft urban forest products standard; overview of mechanical harvesting of urban trees in Kenosha County, WI; updates from Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin; and an overview of Michigan State University's Sustainable Wood Recovery Initiative. View the Urban Wood Utilization Webcast .

Other Items of Interest 
Update on the Housing Market  May 2016 Section l, May 2016 Section ll 
From Urs Buehlmann, Virginia Tech, Department of Sustainable Biomaterials. View all housing reports

Update on Wood Markets June 28, 2016
From Don Deckard , Minnesota DNR Division of Forestry
USDA Announces Inclusion of Wood Products and Other Materials in BioPreferred Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a final rule eliminating the restrictions on including mature market wood products and other materials in the BioPreferred program.  Read this USDA Office of Communications bulletin for more information. 
Wind Wood Utilization is the hub for information specifically related to the preparation for, response to, and recovery from major wind events and the utilization of downed and damaged timber and woody debris that can be generated.

The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this Update is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute official endorsement or approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable.
Wood Education and Resource Center Staff
Lew McCreery, Acting Director, (304) 285-1538,
Ed Cesa, Deputy Director, (304) 285-1530,