Thursday, April 13, 2023

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is awarding $3,737,200 from the Wood Products Infrastructure Assistance grant program in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support wood processing facilities in Oregon.

“Oregon has the most innovative wood products in the world, and we have been working hard to keep Oregon at the forefront of timber products,” said Merkley, who chairs the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the USFS. “These projects help get wood products to our mills and also help reduce wildfire risk on our forests. That’s why it’s great news that this funding is coming to Oregon to further strengthen this sector. I’m looking forward to seeing the benefits of these investments for our rural communities and for Oregon’s continued leadership in this space.” 

“These investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for both our state’s world-renowned wood products and for much-needed wildfire risk reduction add up to a huge win for all of Oregon,” Wyden said. “This law I was proud to support properly recognizes how infrastructure resources just like these generate jobs and make communities safer in Oregon and nationwide. And as the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, I’ll keep battling for similar investments that make Oregon an even better place to live and work.”

The USFS announced $33.7 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to strengthen the wood products industry and promote sustainable forest management as the agency addresses the ongoing wildfire crisis. Of that funding, $29 million will be used to establish, reopen, or improve wood processing facilities that purchase and process byproducts from projects on federally managed or tribal lands at risk of wildfire, insects, and disease. The additional $4.7 million will fund temporary water crossing for skidders and other heavy forestry equipment. 

The awards coming to Oregon are as follows:

  • City of Prineville: $1,000,000
  • Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians: $1,000,000
  • Prairie Wood Products, LLC in Prairie City: $1,000,000
  • Heartwood Biomass, LLC in Wallowa: $737,100