NEW YORK (WWTI) — Up to $7 million in grant funding is available for northern border communities in New York for the 2023 fiscal year through the Northern Border Regional Commission’s 2023 Forest Economy Program.

Eligible organizations within the Northern Border region of New York State can apply for grants of up to $1 million for each project to support the local forest-based economy and to assist in the forest industry’s evolution to include new technologies and viable business models. Nonprofit and government entities are able to apply.

Potential applicants must submit letters of interest to be considered for funding, which are due by March 10, 2023 at 5 p.m. for summer award consideration and by September 15, 2023 at 5 p.m. for winter award consideration.

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“New York’s forested lands are a huge contributor to our state’s economy and provide significant benefits to both residents and visitors,” New York State Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said. “This round of federal grant funding has the potential to help support, modernize and diversify this critical, but often overlooked, piece of New York State’s economy. I am thankful to the federal government for their continued support and for making this funding available.”

Funds will be awarded to support projects in the forest economy, which may include one or more of the following:

  1. Community development projects that support the diversified use of forests within the Northern Border Regional Commission’s service area for economic activity to include wood products and advanced materials manufacturing, as well as for other economic activity that utilizes northern border forests sustainably and demonstrates planning for climate resiliency.
  2. Workforce training and development projects for the purpose of building the skills and recruiting and retaining the workforce needed for forest businesses.
  3. Marketing/communication and education projects that promote the environmental and climate benefits of forest management and forest products in ways that strengthen markets for wood products.
  4. Business planning and technical assistance projects that enhance the viability and sustainability of new and existing forest businesses.
  5. Public infrastructure projects that directly support the forest industry, and/or that demonstrate the use of wood-based products in public infrastructure.

Additional information regarding the program and how to apply is available on the Northern Border Regional Commission’s website.