A half dozen private sawmills around the Northwest are splitting about $17 million in federal economic stimulus grants. The new awards follow a wood-to-energy theme. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.
The federal government is promoting two goals with its latest round of stimulus contracts.
One is to create a market for all of those tree trimmings and wood chips generated by thinning work aimed at reducing wildfire risk.
A second goal is to boost renewable energy from wood waste.
The Vaagen Brothers lumber company in Colville, Washington gets a quarter million dollar grant. Timber resource manager Josh Anderson says it will buy better equipment to chip up logging slash piles for burning at a nearby electric generating plant.
Josh Anderson: “For us, it’ll allow us to move more material per day, per hour, handle it less, and improve the cost effectiveness.”
Four million dollars will build a pellet mill from scratch in Grant County, Oregon to fuel those increasingly popular wood pellet stoves.
The Warm Springs tribal sawmill gets $5 million to install boilers that can run on tree trimmings.