Future Forest Economy Initiative

The Endowment helps shape the future of forestry by bringing together public and private partners to develop new markets for forest products. Using a $3 million Congressional appropriation to the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Endowment partnered with the Northern Forest Center to launch the Future Forest Economy Initiative to increase production, commercialization, and use of wood products in the Northeast and New York,

Informed by an investment strategy developed with 200 regional stakeholders, the initiative invested nearly $2.6 million in 13 projects. This five-year partnership benefitted 219 businesses, created and retained 53 jobs, and supported nearly $15 million in private investment. It helped commercialize at least 10 new forest products and services that are projected to generate demand for 8.1 million tons/year of wood at full implementation.

Highlights from some of the 13 grants awarded include:

  • In one of the first uses of cross-laminated timber fabricated from lumber sourced in the Northern Forest, the new Jesup Library in Bar Harbor, Maine, will benefit from regionally sourced wood, a reduced carbon footprint, and increased carbon storage.
  • The Feel Good Heat campaign aims for a 50% increase in low-grade wood used for heat by 2028 generating rural jobs and saving customers’ money.
  • Economic impacts as high as $47 million plus 200 new jobs could be reaped in central New York as a result of the military’s decision to use domestically grown and manufactured low-grade hardwood, such as red oak, in place of tropical species for decking in trailers and vehicles.

Learn More about the Future Forest Economy Initiative.