Friday, June 25, 2010

Questions Answered about Woody Biomass

The Society of American Forester's E-Forester (June25, 2010) recently captured a New York Times (June 22) article by Tom Zeller Jr.  In the wake of the controversy surrounding The Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences' recent analysis of the potential impact of using wood for energy.  Tom sent a number of questions about the study to Manomet Center President John M. Hagan and the study's team leader Thomas Walker.  The New York Times published the questions and answers.  It is worth a read!

Friday, June 18, 2010

More Controversey Concerning Woody Biomass?

Vermont does not think so!  Came across this article in the Society of American Foresters E-Forester News.  The Massachusets based Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences released a report last week indicating that biomass energy has a larger carbon footprint than buring coal.  The Massachusetts report was commissioned by the state's Department of Energy Resources as part of its Renewable Portfolio Standard program. 

In response to the report, Stephen Wark, the deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service, indicated there are many reasons why the Massachusets study doesn't apply to Vermont.  He likes the idea of biomass in Vermont and states that the technology is carbon neutral and is a justifiable energy resource.

To read the full story click here.

The Times Argus, June 17, 2010.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Guidelines for Sustainable Woody Biomass Harvesting

The Forest Guild just released their Biomass Retention and Harvesting Guidelines for the Northeast. This work synthesizes and builds on two previously released companion reports: Ecology of Deadwood in the Northeast (May 2010, a review of the science) and Revised Assessment of Biomass Harvesting and Retention Guidelines (April, 2010, a review of current state and foreign country biomass harvesting guidelines). All three reports may be found at the Forest Guild’s website. 

Related, a report from Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences will soon be released – a note from the Florida Forestry Association’s Forestry Friday (5/28/10):

"The Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences is scheduled to complete a "six-month study" of biomass energy very soon. All eyes are on Massachusetts where the state formally suspended the review and permitting of proposed biomass power plants for approximately one year to allow time for the Manomet report. The thrust of the questions Manomet would answer: Is biomass—specifically, power produced from burning wood (and, in some cases, construction and demolition debris)—renewable, sustainable and carbon-neutral? Early reviewers on the draft say the soon-to-be-released study by conservation scientists could be a game-changer and deliver a serious blow to the woody biomass industry."

(D. Jenkins, The Nature Conservancy - June 3, 2010.)

Friday, June 4, 2010

American Chestnut Restoration Celebration

The new Raystown Restoration Branch of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the  American Chestnut Foundation (TACF®) is requesting your support to help get the community and youth involved in the restoration of this the American Chestnut. The branch is hosting a chestnut restoration celebration, fundraiser, and educational tour on Saturday, August 21st that will help establish the Branch. The celebration will begin with a 4:30 p.m. tour of the active American chestnut breeding orchard followed by a social hour, speakers, raffles and auctions.

TACF is embarking on one of the most exciting restoration projects in recent history. From the early 1900’s to 1940’s, an exotic blight attacked and killed over 4 billion American chestnut trees. American chestnut was the dominate tree species across the east and were considered more important than the oaks we have today. Growing over 100 feet tall and more than 4 feet wide, this majestic tree provided not only great forest and wildlife benefits but also provided a way of life for residents throughout the Appalachian Mountains and beyond.

Event tickets are now available. Couple tickets are $ 80.00 and individual tickets are $60.00. Event tickets include one membership and an event invite. You may forward your name, address and ticket choice or membership request along with payment by check, payable to PA-TACF – Raystown Branch to Lori Krause at 7478 Country Hill Drive, Huntingdon, PA 16652. Questions can also be directed to or 814-643-2372.