Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Biomass Controversey Continues

Following the release of the Monamet Center for Conservation Science's report on woody biomass for energy a storm of controversey has been brewing.  Forest 2 Market, a private organization that provides participants in the wood supply chain with business solutions that support decision making and planning, wrote a very effective and deliberate commentary that was published in the Society of American Foresters Forestry Source August 2010.  The commentary was written by Suz-Anne Kinney.  Suz-Anne is the Communications Manager for Forest 2 Market.  Suz-Anne provided me permission to use the article.  I have provided it to my readers below.

From the Editor: It’s Time for Long-Term Energy Plan
By Suz-Anne Kinney
From the June 2010 Forest2Fuel newsletter.

Controversy erupted last week with the publication of a report prepared by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The report, some say, leaves the impression that the carbon footprint of biomass electricity is worse than that of energy produced by oil and coal. As biomass has almost universally been considered carbon neutral to this point, this statement has raised more than a few eyebrows--and voices. The Biomass Power Association (BPA), for instance, has requested a correction of misinformation contained in the report. Environmental groups will no doubt pick up some of the conclusions reached in the report and use them to oppose biomass power plants going forward.

To read the full story click here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

PA Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Expanded to 43 Counties

Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Expanded to 43 Counties; Tree-Killing Pest Found in Cumberland, Union Counties

Forty-three counties are now under a quarantine that is intended to prevent the spread of the invasive, tree-killing Emerald Ash Borer, Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding said today while reminding travelers not to haul firewood between counties.  Click here to view a copy of the quarantine map.

The Emerald Ash Borer has now been found in 17 counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Butler, Centre, Cumberland, Fulton, Indiana, Juniata, Lawrence, Mercer, Mifflin, Somerset, Union, Washington and Westmoreland.

The Agriculture Department has expanded its quarantine to include 31 counties, including the six where the beetle has been found this year and others that are contiguous.
To read the full news release: Harrisburg, PA Dept. of Agriculture, Aug. 10, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pennsylvania Team Competes at National 4-H Forestry Invitational

Pennsylvania was among the 15 state teams that participated in the 31st annual National 4-H Forestry Invitational from Sunday, July 25, through Thursday, July 29, 2010.

At the Invitational 4-H members compete for overall team and individual awards in several categories. Events included a forestry written exam, tree identification, tree measurement, compass and pacing, insect and disease identification, topographic map use, the forestry bowl and forest evaluation.

The invitational was held at West Virginia University Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center near Weston, West Virginia. The Farm Credit System, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, and the Cooperative Extension Service sponsored the event.

Pennsylvania was represented by Luke Beardsley and Stephanie Beardsley of Glen Rock, Madeline Erickson of Stewartstown, and Phillip Rooney of York. The team was coached by Alma Rooney.

Louisiana won the event. Arkansas and Tennessee placed second and third, respectively. The Pennsylvania team placed ninth. Megan Farmer of Louisiana received the high-point individual award. Second place high individual award was given to Stephan McBride of Louisiana and third place high individual award was given to Amy Brandt of Illinois.

4-H is a youth education program operated by Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state land grant universities. More than five-and-a-half million young people participate in 4-H, and nearly 100,000 are part of the 4-H Forestry Program.

For more information on the National 4-H Forestry Invitational, go to: