Tag Archives: wildfire

[NEWS] California’s Tree Die-Off Gives Life To Biomass Facility

– by Christin Ayers, September 24, 2017, CBS SF Bay Area

sierra die off SF gate

Photo: SF Gate

Deep in California, in the Sierra National Forest, there are more dead trees than live ones. And figuring out what do with them is a towering task.

Forest Supervisor Dean Gould sees the evidence every day of the state’s massive tree die-off, a crisis that’s claimed more than 102-million trees over eight million acres in the past seven years.

“It’s unprecedented. A whole variety of conditions had to happen simultaneously and they did,” Gould said.

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

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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

AUDIO for LIVE DEBATE: Can Removing Fuels for Biomass Energy Reduce Wildfire?

In August, The Biomass Monitor hosted a debate between Chad Hanson, Ph.D., Director and Principal Ecologist for John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute and David Atkins, former Forest Service ecologist and forester and current president of Treesource, over the effectiveness of cutting trees in backcountry forests to limit the spread and intensity of wildfire.

Subscribe to quarterly email issues of The Biomass Monitor to receive the recording in the fall issue. Subscribers can also contact thebiomassmonitor@gmail.com and we’ll get you the link right away.

 

[NEWS] Two New Biomass Processing Facilities Planned for Eastern Oregon

– by Rylan Boggs, May 30, 2017, Blue Mountain Eagle

johnday_orTwo biomass processing facilities are expected to be up and running in Grant County this summer.

Utilizing low-value vegetation from the Malheur National Forest, the Iron Triangle plants in Seneca and John Day will initially produce posts, poles and chips and could move into torrefied products, if the market is available. Torrefaction is the process of baking biomass into a coal-like fuel that can be burned.

The market for torrefied material depends on the Portland General Electric power plant in Boardman converting from burning coal to torrefied material, according to King Williams of Iron Triangle. PGE planned to convert the plant to biomass or shut it down entirely by 2020.

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November ISSUE OF THE BIOMASS MONITOR: Should We Log Burned Forests for Biomass Energy?

Should We Log Burned Forests for Biomass Energy? [November 2016]

Inside this issue:

Forest Service Studies Soil Impacts of Bioenergy Logging

Forest Biomass Utilization Combatting Catastrophic Wildfires

The Disconnect Between Myth and Reality in the Rim Fire

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[NEWS] Concord Blue Biomass Gasification Facility Breaks Ground in Arizona

– by Trudy Balcom, November 4, 2016, White Mountain Independent

concord_blue_biomass

Concord Blue Biomass

It doesn’t look like much, but it’s a start.

Concord Blue Energy broke ground this week on its long-awaited biomass plant in the Eagar Industrial Park.

Geotechnical engineering for the plant has been completed — the only phase the company plans to complete this year.

The mechanical components for the bio-generating facility will be engineered and fabricated starting this winter, according to Scott Noll, vice president of project management at Concord Blue, which is based in Los Angeles, Calif.

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[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.

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