Sierra Forest Entrepreneurs Program
Local forest businesses are critical infrastructure for the forest restoration economy and are in need to retooling and reinvestment to ensure they can meet the urgent needs for forest management across the state.
Without a robust network of businesses committed to harvesting and processing lower value timber from the forest, California’s forests will continue to be threatened by catastrophic wildfire.
Overview of the Sierra Forest Entrepreneurs (SFE) Program:
- Deliver 20 hours of learning content to 24 entrepreneurs over 4 months
- Connect entrepreneurs with two regional business development offices for ongoing business support
- Develop and moderate an online network for businesses across the region to connect and share resources
- Provide businesses $3,000 mini-grants to help entrepreneurs meet growth goals by supporting training and certification opportunities, equipment needs, and more.
Key needs for the future of the program are to: sustain & develop networking opportunities; provide larger mini-grants that allow businesses to overcome strategic bottlenecks; and support & grow linkages between businesses & wood product markets.
The SFE program brings together business development professionals, including the Sierra Small Business Development Center, to support business-specific needs of small forestry business entrepreneurs
With our network of forest product businesses, Sierra Institute links innovative wood products manufacturing firms, like TimberAge Systems, with businesses through virtual tours, interactive sessions, and one-on-one meetings.
In-person workshops allow us to showcase the range of exciting activities we are advancing across Indian Valley. Here, SFE participants are learning about the formal partnership between Sierra Institute and J&C Enterprises, a local logging company that services forest restoration, fuels reduction, and post-fire rehabilitation needs across the valley.
Participants at our very first in-person SFE workshop tour California’s very first all-cross laminated timber facility in Quincy. This building features a biomass boiler that converts wood chips from fuels reduction projects to heat for Plumas County’s Health and Human Services building. Although wood fired energy is a low value product for fuels reduction harvests, it represents an important market for woody biomass that can help make forest restoration activities more cost-effective.