Background - USDA Forest Service by qingqinglxkc


									Sitka Wood Utilization Center
    The Wood Utilization Center in Sitka provides re-
search, tools, and new ideas for improving economic
growth in Southeast Alaska communities. The center
is evaluating several forest-based economic devel-
opment projects to help sustain communities transi-
tioning from harvesting old-growth forests to using
new techniques for managing young-growth stands
in the Tongass National Forest. The center is also
conducting research on new uses for wood while
broadening its focus to include the evaluation of ac-
tivities that support subsistence living, rural econom-
ic growth, and the tourism industry.

Funding (in thousands)
      FY12$             FY11             FY10
       900              900              1,100

Key Outcomes
   Use feedback from a series of public meetings to
    position the center to better serve Alaskans by re-
    focusing research activities to emphasize private
    sector opportunities and partnerships with federal agencies.
   Hire a social scientist to assess economic development opportunities in southeast Alaska to
    help create jobs and encourage business innovation.
   Facilitate the use of biomass in Alaska for wood energy in homes, sawmills, schools, and
    community buildings.

Current Activities
   Developing an interdisciplinary approach when considering the benefits derived from the
    Tongass National Forest: forest products, recreation, facilities, subsistence resources, sustaina-
    ble communities, and healthy lifestyles.
   Continuing projects to define available biomass (renewable wood energy), evaluate the suita-
    bility of burning equipment, identify consumer preferences, and estimate demand for these
    products in Alaska.
   Disseminating lessons learned from wood to energy projects in Southeast Alaska.
   Monitoring and reporting changes in international, national, and local markets for biomass en-
    ergy to help local industries identify opportunities.
   Evaluating the processes and outcomes of two different community economic development

Issue Paper
February 2012
Sitka Wood Utilization Center                                                   Page 2

Who benefits directly?
   Local government and rural communities
   Land managers (e.g., Forest Service, Native corporations, economic development organiza-
   Recreation and tourism industry

   Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry
   Alaska Energy Authority
   Alaska Forestry Association
   City of Sitka
   Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation
   Forest Service, Alaska Region, State and Private Forestry
   Juneau Economic Development Council
   Tongass National Forest
   University of Alaska Fairbanks, Cooperative State Extension Service (Alaska)
   University of Alaska Fairbanks, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service
   Oregon State University, Department of Forest Products
   University of Idaho, Forest Products Department
   University of Washington, Center for International Trade in Forest Products

Jamie Barbour, Program Manager, PNW Research Station,, (503) 808-2542

Issue Paper
February 2012

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