Local governments and non-profit groups in the Northeast are receiving more than $1.6 million in rural development funding from the province. The province announced last week seven groups will split $1,622,978 in rural dividend grants for a number of ongoing projects. The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality is receiving $300,000 to support the second phase of its aspen utilization project. That includes a fibre supply analysis, sawmill and veneer opportunity assessment, a markets and logistics assessment, and a business strategy that includes an investor attraction package, the municipality says. The municipality says it will leverage the grant with its own funding and funding from Forest Production Innovations as it tries to kickstart the local forestry industry and utilize its high quality aspen resource.