WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., announced Tuesday the U.S. Forest Service has awarded Oregon more than $1.2 million to support wood products innovation in Oregon’s manufacturing facilities and develop markets for innovative uses of mass timber and renewable wood energy.
They said the projects also help to restore healthy forests and reduce wildfire risk.
“These federal investments in our state’s world-renowned wood products are a huge win for Oregon that will lead to construction innovation across the country, while also playing an important role in reducing the risk of wildfire,” Wyden said. “I was proud to support the two pieces of legislation that will lead in innovation, help generate jobs and make communities safer in Oregon and nationwide.”
“Oregon has the most innovative wood products in the world, and this funding coming to the state will further strengthen and advance our leading wood products industry,” Merkley said. “I’m especially looking forward to seeing the benefits of these investments for our rural communities and for Oregon’s continued leadership in timber products.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing more than $43 million nationally 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. Oregon’s share of these federal funds is below:
- $166,150 to Levi's Sawmill Services, LLC of La Pine for Phase 1 of multi-phase sawmill upgrade to restore Central Oregon forests.
- $150,000 to Adre, LLC for The Killingsworth Project, a performance-based design for a resilient mass timber creative office.
- $275,000 to KPFF Design Parameters for codification of mass timber rocking walls. $47,975 to Softwood Export Council for a marketing video to showcase the use of US softwoods in architecture and remanufacturing.
- $300,000 to Wheeler Soil and Water Conservation District for a mass timber facility.
- $100,000 to The Beck Group Heartwood Biomass for capital project planning and product mix optimization.
- $250,000 to PathHouse, LLC for continued development of modular, mass timber low-income housing.
Made possible in part by the 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.
“We at Levi’s Sawmill are honored that the USDA and Forest Service have awarded our small business a Wood Innovations Grant. This money will help us develop and build infrastructure so that we may continue growing our business and supporting the thriving Central Oregon community of woodworkers, DIY’ers, contractors and lumber retail outlets,” said Levi Littrell, owner of Levi’s Sawmill Services.
“As a conservation district, daily discussions surround the increased demands for climate change mitigation, conservation, reduced environmental impacts and improved economic stability,” Wheeler County Soil & Water Conservation District Manager Cassi Newton said. “We plan to use recently purchased acres overlooking the John Day River to develop a mass timber constructed multi-agency community center to serve as a hub for conservation agencies and provide much needed modern office, conference, education, and training services that is centrally located in the exceptionally rural district and county.”