Steven Koehn
Director, Cooperative Forestry
US Forest Service, Washington D.C.

The Forest Service Wood Innovations Program is working alongside many partners to revolutionize the US building sector by supporting the introduction of mass timber products, such as cross-laminated timber, mass plywood, glue laminated timber, and more. Building markets for wood products like mass timber can help us reduce the amount of material in our overstocked forests, leading to safer, more resilient communities. A thriving mass timber market can support rural economic development and gives us an opportunity to contribute to a more sustainable building sector.

The Forest Service Wood Innovations Program supports market-driven solutions to our natural resource problems through our Wood Innovations Grants and our many partnerships. The outcomes from these grants and partnerships have been significant, including changing the US building codes; Department of Defense now building with cross-laminated timber after blast test results confirm incredible resilience; new mass timber buildings going up; and the list goes on. We are at in incredible moment in the US market place with mass timber: we have new legislation authorizing Forest Service work in the mass timber arena; the building codes are being updated; more and more buildings are being built; and manufacturing is picking up.