Established in 2017 via charter from the Council of Western State Foresters (CWSF), the Forest Products Committee addresses a range of regional forest utilization issues. In cooperation with CWSF leadership, the Forest Products Committee works to support sustainable forest management, the forest industry, and communities. Committee members help to inform the CWSF membership about issues and opportunities for leadership action.

Membership of the Forest Products Committee consists of a representative from those CWSF member states and Pacific Islands that have opted in. Appointments are made on a voluntary basis by western State Foresters.

The Forest Products Committee is led by a leadership team and rotates annually among member states to ensure the widest diversity of expertise and representation. The 2024 leadership team includes: 

  • Chair: Archie Gray (ID) 
  • Vice Chair: Dave Bruton (KS)
  • Secretary: Kim Slazak (NE) 
  • Past Chair: Bergen Eskildsen (UT)
  • State Forester Advisor: Gerry Gray (UT)
  • CWSF Staff Liaison: Neil Simpson

A synopsis of committee projects includes:   

  • Wood Wool Cement & Wood Fiber Insulation Feasibility Analysis - This report developed by The Beck Group provides an overview of key feasibility considerations for businesses developed around Wood Wool Cement and Wood Fiber Insulation, including factors such as raw material requirements and costs; equipment needs and costs; process considerations (e.g., labor, plant scale, etc.); market size and product values; and regulatory and/or policy issues affecting commercialization of these technologies.
  • CWSF Torrefaction Market Analysis - This project explored torrefaction technology and its market potential across the West, including an overview of the global wood pellet market. 
  • CWSF 2020 Success Stories Publication - This publication features a sampling of forest utilization success stories from 11 western states. These stories show the innovation and ingenuity at work across the region, from biochar on the Great Plains to jet fuel in the Pacific Northwest.  
  • CWSF Biochar Market Analysis - This project provided a comprehensive outlook of the potential of biochar development within the western region of the U.S. in a Q&A format. The report also touches on economic and regulatory incentives and barriers to biochar production and use.
  • Mass Timber Market Analysis - This analysis summarizes recent and future demands for mass timber, existing and planned manufacturing facilities, suppliers of mass timber products, existing and planned projects, and lumber supply and demand, etc.
  • Mobile Biochar Demonstration - In 2019, the Forest Products Committee hosted on-site demonstrations of a mobile biochar production technology from Ragnar Original Innovation to help address a range of woody debris waste streams, such as slash piles from forest harvesting operations; residues from sawmill processing; and urban and community forestry activities. 

Work Plan 

Each year, the committee produces a report for the CWSF Fall Meeting. This report highlights key accomplishments from the past year and a look at work for the year ahead. Recent reports are featured below:


If you wish to contact a member of the Forest Products Committee, please contact Neil Simpson

Photos: Archie Gray (header), Laura Wagner (top), and Marcus Kauffman (bottom).