– by Emery Cowan, May 26, 2018, Arizona Daily Sun
APS is looking for new proposals that would use the small trees and branches from Arizona forests to generate a small portion of the energy the utility sends to customers around the state.
The idea is to provide a market for woody material that needs to be thinned from overcrowded, high-risk forests in northern and eastern Arizona in order to reduce the risk of severe wildfires, improve forest health and benefit watersheds.
There’s one big problem, though, according to the head of the state’s only utility-scale biomass power plant.
– by Christin Ayers, September 24, 2017, CBS SF Bay Area
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.
– by Anna Simet, August 23, 2017, Biomass Magazine
Photo: Biomass Magazine
The Arizona Corporation Commission has ordered Arizona Public Service to evaluate forest bioenergy as part of its resource portfolio.
A May memorandum from Commissioner Boyd Dunn instructed the opening of a docket to explore forest bioenergy, and its current role and impact in Arizona. The memo emphasized the important role forest bioenergy serves in maintaining Arizona’s forests, woodlands, and watersheds while creating energy for the grid. “Our history is riddled with examples of the devastating economic, cultural, and ecological impact of Arizona wildfires,” it stated. “In addition, state watersheds, including streams, lakes and reservoirs are at risk of contamination from hazardous runoff coming from the burned areas. Maintaining healthy forests and woodlands through on-the-ground restoration activities reduces the risk and severity of these wildfires.”
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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
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.
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