Bioenergy Watershed Restoration in Regions of the West: What are the Environmental/Community Issues?
Description: Throughout the western mountainous regions, wildfire risks are elevated due to both fire suppression activities which have changed the forest structure making it more susceptible to stand-killing fires and the expansion of human structures (houses, light commercial) into these same forests, By providing a market for currently noncommercial but flammable materials (small trees, tops, and branches), new and existing bioenergy industries could be a key factor in reducing the regional forest fuel loads. Although bioenergy would appear to be an ideal answer to the problem in many ways, the situation is complicated and numerous issues need resolution. A public fearful of logging in these regions needs assurance that harvesting for bioenergy is an environmentally and socially responsible solution to the current fuel build up in these forests. This is especially important given that biomass harvesting cannot pay its own way under current energy market conditions and would have to be supported in some fashion.
Date: July 1, 1999
Creator: Graham, R.L.; Huff, D.D.; Kaufmann, M.R.; Shepperd, W.D. & Sheehan, J.
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