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National Hardwood Lumber Association Receives Grant from the USDA Forest Service

General News

The National Hardwood Lumber Association announced today that it has been awarded a $500,000 matching grant from the USDA Forest Service Wood Innovations Program to support and expand markets for the United States hardwood industry.

“We appreciate the USDA Forest Service supporting the hardwood forest industry’s important role in ensuring a sustainable future, healthy forests, and robust rural communities,” said Dallin Brooks, NHLA Executive Director. “The critical thing to consider with this project is, ‘What will move the market back to hardwood decorative products?’ The answer is important as we work to make a shift possible. It will be challenging to counteract a decade of construction material choices that have moved the market away from hardwood. However, the Forest Service collaboration lays the groundwork for just that.”

NHLA’s focus is to grow and stabilize the hardwood lumber market and industry. The project team will work on several goals to 1) Create online content on hardwood information for architects, specifiers, designers, structural engineers, and other hardwood users. 2) Distribute content to architects, specifiers, designers, structural engineers, and other hardwood users in person and online. 3) Find and enhance communication to hardwood sawmills about optimization and education services provided by the Forest Service, NHLA, and other organizations to improve business operations, increase log yield recovery, find grant opportunities, understand automation, research grading impacts, and workforce development.

“The Forest Service is excited to work with the National Hardwood Lumber Association through the Wood Innovation Program to expand hardwood markets and increase the use of hardwood as a construction material,” said Brian Brashaw, Assistant Director, State, Private & Tribal Forestry, Wood Innovations. “Healthy forests depend on a healthy wood products economy, and this support will directly help improve the management and sustainability of our hardwood forests.”

Additionally, several NHLA member companies were awarded funds from the USDA Forest Service under the Wood Innovations grant program and the Community Wood grant program. The agency is investing in 123 project proposals from for-profit entities, state and local governments, Tribes, communities, non-profit organizations, and other partners, totaling $43 million in investments. Funded proposals foster innovation and create new markets for wood products and energy, which are critical to the sustainable management of federal, tribal, state, and privately managed lands. They also support wood energy projects and additional and expanded wood products processing and manufacturing capacity.

Congratulations to the following NHLA companies for receiving a USDA Forest Service Wood Innovation Grant!

  • Thompson Appalachian Hardwoods $300,000 – Log Merchandising System for Expanded Forest Utilization in Southern Appalachia
  • Matson Lumber Company $300,000 – Improving Forest Health by Minimizing Wood Waste in the Allegheny National Forest Region
  • Brownlee Lumber, Inc. $300,000 – Advancing Sawmill Efficiency & Sustainable Forestry through Optimized Edger Technology
  • Northwest Hardwoods, Inc. $262,318 – Microtec CT Log Scanning Feasibility Assessment
  • Northern Hardwoods Lumber, LLC $1,000,000 – Northern Hardwoods Biomass Boiler and Energy System
  • Dunaway Timber Company $300,000 – Wood Pellet Plant in Western Kentucky

Congratulations to the following NHLA companies for receiving a USDA Forest Service Community Wood Grant!

  • Bingaman & Son Lumber $1,000,000 – Hardwood Grade Scanner and Bin Sorter
  • BPM Lumber $1,197,848 – Hardwood AI Optimized Grading & Ripping Vision Scanning System
  • Cumberland Cooperage – $1,000,000 Kiln and Boiler System Upgrade
  • TIMBERKRAFT* $999,547 – 1st Hardwood CLT Manufacturing Facility in Western Virginia *Not an NHLA member, but awesome news!

About the USDA Forest Service

The mission of the USDA 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 the 193 million acres of National Forest System land, provides stewardship assistance to non-federal forest landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.

About the National Hardwood Lumber Association

The world’s largest and oldest hardwood industry association, NHLA represents more than 700 companies and individuals that produce, use, and sell North American hardwood lumber, or provide equipment, supplies, or services to the hardwood industry. It was founded in 1898 to establish a uniform system of grading rules for the measurement and inspection of hardwood lumber. Since 1979, its headquarters have been in Memphis. To learn more about the National Hardwood Lumber Association, visit

Source: National Hardwood Lumber Association