Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC)


To provide technical assistance and funds, on a cost-share basis, for projects that enhance opportunities for sustained forest products production for primary and secondary wood industries located in the eastern hardwood forest region of the United States. In order to maintain and improve the health and stewardship of our Nation's forests, local wood-using industries need to be vibrant and able to utilize a wide variety of resources from the forest. Priorities include: Maintain the economic competitiveness of primary and secondary wood industries. Examples include: 1) Encouraging the adoption of new technology to improve competitiveness and profitability, 2) Bringing information and technology about processing, marketing, and business-related skills as well as urban wood utilization to existing and emerging businesses, and 3) Developing utilization options that improve forest stewardship and health. 4) Support activities that maintain or enhance harvesting industry capacity to serve the wood industry. Increase the knowledge and information about how the wood industry can contribute to the green building movement. Examples include chain of custody certification for sustainable wood products as well as life cycle analysis for a range of wood products. Increase the knowledge, information, and promotion of how carbon sequestration by wood products can provide a competitive edge to a sustainable forest products industry. An example includes developing specific carbon storage factors for a range of wood products. Develop technology and markets to address urgent issues on a global or domestic scale, including: 1) Sanitizing wood packaging materials, firewood, and similar products to eliminate these pathways for the transport of insect and disease pests, and 2) Developing markets for and using unexpected increases in the volume of urban and rural wood due to new pest introductions (for example, emerald ash borer) and weather events such as tornadoes and ice storms. Increase the sustainable use of woody biomass to meet our Nations needs for energy, raw materials, and reductions of hazardous fuels. Examples include public/private partnerships for using woody biomass in heating and cooling, process energy, cogeneration, district energy systems, and solid and liquid fuel production. Projects may also develop or maintain local markets and forest industry infrastructure by using woody biomass for both energy and value-added products. Provide key information to address the economic, social and ecological aspects of woody biomass production and use: including sustainable supplies, harvesting techniques, forest management, plantation development, and environmental implications.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Forest Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
16 U.S.C. 1650
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Nonfederal agencies; public and private agencies including State, local and tribal governments; institutions of higher education; non-profit organizations; for-profit organizations; corporations; businesses; and others.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Nonfederal agencies; public and private agencies including State, local and tribal governments; institutions of higher education; non-profit organizations; for-profit organizations; corporations; businesses.
Not applicable.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. Depending on available funding, an application package (including instructions, application and electronic location of financial forms) is developed each year that provides guidelines for applicants to follow in developing their proposal. Standard financial assistance application forms (SF-424, SF-424A and applicable Certifications) are required.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
Award Procedure
Established by the USDA Forest Service, Eastern Regional Office, Milwaukee, WI
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 to 90 days.
Not applicable.
From 60 to 90 days. SF-424A with SF-424 application is required to amend the awarded amount or length of commitment. Unsuccessful applications can be resubmitted in future years.
How are proposals selected?
When budgets allow for a competitive grants program, an evaluation panel is convened on an annual basis to evaluate and rate proposals received. Proposals are evaluated on a number of criteria including alignment with WERC's mission and goals, focus on yearly priority items, clear deliverables, industry support, minimal duplication, length of time, multi-state project, and training.
How may assistance be used?
Projects need to complement existing activities and/or focus on niches that are not being met by either industry or service providers. In addition, projects need to clearly document industry support and involvement.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Forest Service program managers will conduct monitoring activities to measure performance against established grant objectives.
Not applicable.
All recipients need to maintain records adequate to collect and report statistical data. Forest Service or its designated representatives will have access to recipient records upon request.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. Depending on budget authority, anywhere from 20 to 50 percent match.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Grants or Cooperative Agreements are normally awarded for a period of 12 to 36 months. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Established in award terms. Assistance is awarded or released according to conditions established in award terms.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, Wood Education and Resource Center, 626 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202, Phone: (304) 288-3655. Email: lew.mccreery@usda.gov
Headquarters Office
Brian Brashaw
201 14th St SW
Washington, DC 20250 USA
Phone: 202-205-1380
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 22$0.00; FY 23 est $500,000.00; FY 24 est $500,000.00; FY 21$0.00; FY 20$0.00; FY 19$0.00; FY 18$50,000.00; FY 17$0.00; FY 16$0.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range varies from $10,000 to $100,000. Average project grant award is approximately $50,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


Federal Grants Resources