Tag Archives: colorado

[FEATURE] Out of the Fryingpan and Into the Fire: Debate Heats Up Over Clear-cutting in White River National Forest

– by Josh Schlossberg, March 8, 2017, Boulder Weekly

Conservationists are challenging a logging proposal that would clear-cut 1,300 acres in the White River National Forest northeast of Aspen, including endangered Canada lynx habitat and units adjacent to the protected Woods Lake Roadless Area.

The Upper Fryingpan Vegetation Management Project covers 1,848 acres in the Aspen/Sopris Ranger District in Eagle and Pitkin Counties, Colorado, with the goal of providing lumber and biomass energy, increasing the diversity of tree age and size, and creating snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) habitat, the primary food source of the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis).

However, a formal objection filed by Denver-based forest management analyst and consultant Rocky Smith, along with representatives from Rocky Mountain Wild, Rocky Mountain Recreation Initiative and a chapter of Great Old Broads for Wilderness, alleges the project would instead degrade habitat for lynx and other wildlife, disturb soils and watersheds, and impact scenery. Objectors say the U.S. Forest Service must draft an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to detail the project’s potential harm to ecosystems and offer alternatives that would shrink its footprint.

Read more

[NEWS] Colorado Biomass Facility Owners May Be Garnished for Failing to Pay Builders

– by Randy Wyrick, August 18, 2017, Vail Daily

Eagle Valley Clean Energy chipsThe company that built the Gypsum biomass plant wants to garnish plant owner Eagle Valley Clean Energy for failing to pay for the work.

A federal court jury ruled in June that Wellons Inc., an Oregon company, was owed $10.84 million by Dean Rostrom and Kendric Wait’s Eagle Valley Clean Energy for building the biomass plant in Gypsum. Neither Rostrom nor Wait, nor any of the companies with which they’re involved, have paid Wellons, according to a motion filed Tuesday in Denver Federal District Court.

With interests and costs, Eagle Valley Clean Energy’s tab has now run up to $11,491,002.89, according to those documents.

Read more

Can Logging Forests for Biomass Prevent Wildfire? [SUMMER 2017]

To access this issue, please subscribe to quarterly email issues of The Biomass Monitor

Can Logging Forests for Biomass Energy Prevent Wildfire?

Will Western Communities Adapt to Climate-Driven Wildfire? 

OPINION: Biomass Energy Facilities a Tool for Dealing with Forest Fuels by John Buckley, Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center

OPINION: The Fallacies of Forest “Thinning” for Fire Management by Chad Hanson, John Muir Project

[NEWS] Court Orders Owners of CO Biomass Facility to Pay $10 Million to Company That Built It

– by Randy Wyrick, June 5, 2017, Summit Daily

Eagle Valley Clean Energy chipsA federal court jury ruled Monday that the owners of Gypsum’s biomass plant failed to pay the company that built it.

Wellons, an Oregon company, won a $10.84 million verdict, handing biomass plant owner-operator Eagle Valley Clean Energy a defeat in a civil lawsuit that has slogged on for more than a year. The jury also left the door open for Wellons to ask for interest on that amount. Wellons attorney Steve Leatham said the company will probably seek approximately $7 million in interest.

Read more

[NEWS] Gypsum, Colorado Biomass Owners Send $186,000 Bill to Town

– by Pam Boyd, April 2, 2017, Vail Daily

Eagle Valley woodchips

Photo: Josh Schlossberg / The Biomass Monitor

Clearwater Ventures and Eagle Valley Clean Energy have submitted a bill for $186,000 to the town of Gypsum for costs associated with a condemnation action that was struck down by a district court judge.

In an order issued earlier this month, Eagle County District Court Judge Frederick Gannett ruled that the town of Gypsum failed to follow its own regulations when it launched a condemnation action against Clearwater Ventures LLC, the owner of the property where the Eagle Valley Clean Energy biomass plant is located.

Read more

[EXCLUSIVE] Forest Service Studies Soil Impacts of Bioenergy Logging

– by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor

A recent study from the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) Rocky Mountain Research Station investigates the potential impacts on forest productivity from logging for biomass energy. While the study focuses primarily on the Northern Rockies region—where only a handful of small combined heat and power and biomass heating facilities operate—many of the findings may be applied to western forests.

The study, Impact of Biomass Harvesting on Forest Soil Productivity in the Northern Rocky Mountains, by Woongsoon Jang and Christopher Keyes from the University of Montana, and Deborah Page-Dumroese with the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Moscow, Idaho, assesses one of the main environmental concerns surrounding an expansion of bioenergy, the impact on forest soil productivity.

USFS defines forest productivity as the “integration of all environmental factors encompassing soil productivity, climate, topography, geology, vegetation, and the history of natural disturbances and anthropogenic interventions.” Ultimately, the question is whether logging for bioenergy may impair future forest growth.

Logging for bioenergy involves removing more organic matter from the forest than conventional logging for lumber alone. The practice of whole-tree logging extracts not just merchantable tree trunks for lumber, but also treetops, branches, and other logging byproducts, and has a “substantial impact on live vegetation,” according to study authors.

Though whole tree logging is not typically employed in the western U.S. forests, the authors predict that forests will “likely be managed more intensively in the future,” in part for biomass energy.

Read more

[NEWS] Bioenergy Opportunities in Colorado from Beetle-Killed Trees

– by Joseph Pomerening, October 24, 2016, Renewable Energy World

colorado_forest_renewableenergyworld

Photo: Renewable Energy World

When you think of Colorado, images of snow-capped mountains and lush evergreen forests may come to your mind. But Colorado’s forests have been under attack. It began more than two decades ago when severe drought led to an infestation of mountain pine beetles, spruce beetles, and other pests. The beetle infestation, over time, killed millions of acres of lodgepole pine trees and other tree species. There is now an abundance of dead trees standing on the mountainsides of central and western Colorado.

Decomposition of dead trees occurs naturally and is healthy for a forest ecosystem. However, too many dead trees makes the region prone to forest fires that are costly and dangerous to contain. Forest fires can damage property and communities, harm wildlife, and threaten water supplies.

Read more

[NEWS] Gypsum, CO Uses Eminent Domain for Riverfront Used by Biomass Facility

– by Jason Blevins, October 6, 2016, Denver Post

OP02BIOMASS3

Eagle Valley Clean Energy (Bill Heicher)

The Town of Gypsum is using its power of eminent domain to force the operator Colorado’s first biomass electric plant to sell 69 acres along the Eagle River that the town wants for open space, recreation and access for a future wastewater treatment plant.

The Gypsum Town Council in July approved an ordinance to acquire or condemn the property to compel Eagle Valley Clean Energy to negotiate the sale of the property. The town offered $506,000 and upped its offer to $800,000, but the company says the land is worth twice that.

“The courts provide a process for both sides to be heard for what they think the value of the ground is in an open market transaction,” said attorney Don Ostrander, an eminent domain specialist hired by the town to negotiate with the company.

Read more

« Older Entries