Wood utilization in the Sierra Nevada got a big boost when the Sierra Nevada Conservancy awarded $400,000 to Sierra Institute for enhancing local business.
The funding will help the Taylorsville-based organization increase use of low-value, small diameter wood, creating both healthier forests and better jobs.
At least 10 redeveloped industrial sites will be incorporated in plans to improve community vitality across the Sierra, including improved forest and watershed health, job creation, and economic revitalization.
This work will lead to a Regional increase in wood-based businesses by helping local governments, non-profits and businesses collaborate to create workable business models, find funding and negotiate contracts. Communities which have already expressed interest in this assistance include Foresthill, Auberry, and Bieber.
Sierra Institute will assist communities with tacking multiple challenges: mill site/brownfield development, supply contracts and more. Capacity building, leadership development and technical assistance will be tailored to individual community needs.
The mission of the Sierra Institute is to promote health and sustainable forests and watersheds by investing in the well-being of rural communities and strengthening their participation in natural resource decision making and programs. The institute has worked extensively with communities throughout the Sierra Nevada Region providing leadership in wood-based business and forest bioenergy development through the USDA Rural Community Development Initiative.
Sierra Institute has also implemented its own local wood utilization projects, including the engineering and construction of a small-scale biomass heat and power facility in Quincy which is housed in the first fully cross-laminated timber building in the State of California. The Sierra Institute also facilitates the Sierra To California All Lands Enhancement (SCALE) project which promotes collaboration and peer-learning among forest landscape collaboratives.
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