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US Forest Service and Biomass: A Symbiotic Partnership
by Bob Cleaves (Biomass Power Association/Biomass Magazine) More than 100 million trees across California, many located in the federally managed Sierra, Stanislaus and Sequoia National Forests, are dead, owing to a years-long drought and a nasty bark beetle infestation. As many as 90,000 acres in the state qualify as high-hazard zones, with trees ready to topple over or catch fire, posing significant risk to residents, tourists, homes and infrastructure. Some of the hardest-hit areas have as many as 14,000 dead trees per square mile.
On top of that, the U.S. Forest Service budget that could contribute to clearing out lands in the highest risk areas is increasingly consumed with fighting fires.
Some of these facilities are located close to the high-hazard zones and are well positioned to take on the hazardous fuel cleared from the forests. Some of them are even obligated, through the state’s BioRAM program, to use forestry residues as a significant portion of their fuel.
The Biomass Power Association is working with the U.S. Forest Service to develop a detailed plan that we can present to Congress to involve biomass in solving some of the forestry problems in California and other areas. Our plan will include some of the following elements: READ MORE