Engaging Communities in Developing a Sustainable Wood Products and Biomass Energy Industry - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Engaging Communities in Developing a Sustainable Wood Products and Biomass Energy Industry

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Engaging Communities in Developing a Sustainable Wood Products and Biomass Energy Industry By Gerry Gray Vice President for Policy American Forests – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Engaging Communities in Developing a Sustainable Wood Products and Biomass Energy Industry


1
Engaging Communities in Developing a Sustainable
Wood Products and Biomass Energy Industry
  • By Gerry Gray
  • Vice President for Policy
  • American Forests

2
I. Introduction
  • American Forests is a national, nonprofit,
    citizens conservation organization.
  • Our mission focuses on restoring and maintaining
    healthy forest ecosystems.
  • We view ecosystems as natural capital that
    provides ecological services.
  • We believe that communities need a meaningful
    role in forest policy and management

3
I. Introduction
  • We serve as a bridge group to help community
    partners
  • Participate in national policy dialogue
  • Bring their practical knowledge and commitment to
    pursue solutions
  • We have participated in forest policy initiatives
    passed by Congress (e.g., HFRA, stewardship
    contracting) and commented on administrative
    rulemakings (categorical exclusions, appeals,
    NFMA planning).

4
I. Introduction
  • We believe these policies provide significant
    opportunity for
  • more forest restoration and fuel reduction
    treatment, and
  • using the by-products of these treatments for
    value-added wood processing and biomass energy.
  • However, there are challenges to creating a
    sustainable wood products and biomass energy
    industry.

5
II. Opportunities and Challenges to a Sustainable
Wood Products and Biomass Energy Industry
  • Public Trust
  • The array of new policies and tools are
    characterized by
  • A significant lack of clarity, both individually
    and as they overlap and can be used together
  • A significant increase in discretion for federal
    officials
  • The policies provide increased flexibility and
    opportunity for innovation, but they also raise a
    concern about possible misuse or abuse

6
II. Opportunities and Challenges to a Sustainable
Wood Products and Biomass Energy Industry
  • Public Trust
  • We, therefore, urge federal agencies to use these
    authorities with caution, open and transparent
    process, and safeguards, such as multiparty
    monitoring, to build public trust in their
    efforts.

7
II. Opportunities and Challenges to a Sustainable
Wood Products and Biomass Energy Industry
  • Collaboration
  • In all of these policy initiatives, collaboration
    has emerged as a key means for building trust and
    implementing projects.
  • The 10-year Implementation Plan for the
    comprehensive wildfire strategy puts a special
    emphasis on community level collaboration.

8
II. Opportunities and Challenges to a Sustainable
Wood Products and Biomass Energy Industry
  • Collaboration
  • Two key mechanisms for community collaboration in
    the HFRA are
  • Community wildfire protection plans through
    which communities can identify priority areas for
    fuel reduction treatments and preferred treatment
    methods.
  • Multiparty monitoring of fuel reduction
    projects where communities express a significant
    interest.

9
II. Opportunities and Challenges to a Sustainable
Wood Products and Biomass Energy Industry
  • Collaboration
  • These mechanisms are very important and a wealth
    of experience is being gained through
  • Stewardship contracting pilot program (84
    projects)
  • NM Collaborative Forest Restoration (50 projects)
  • Collaborative stewardship projects developed
    through RACs and County Payments authorities.
  • The Forest Service and BLM should make strong
    efforts to document and learn from these
    projects as they expand the use of such
    mechanisms.

10
II. Opportunities and Challenges to a Sustainable
Wood Products and Biomass Energy Industry
  • Collaboration
  • Collaboration is not easy there are many
    challenges, such as
  • Different expectations of agencies and
    communities
  • Lack of funding for both agencies and communities
  • Lack of models and understanding of how to do it
  • These challenges need to be met head on with
    strategies to ensure the use of key mechanisms
    for collaboration.

11
III. Toward Sustainability Integrating values
and exploring opportunities
  • Community perspectives
  • Develop infrastructure for industry at
    different scales--micro, small, medium, and
    large--to address ecological, social, and
    economic issues in different regional and
    landscape contexts.
  • Consider the impacts on communities of projects
    at different scales--who will get the work and
    which communities will benefit.

12
III. Toward Sustainability Integrating values
and exploring opportunities
  • Micro and small scale
  • There are many examples of micro and small
    value-added wood processing facilities using
    small-diameter logs, innovative technologies, and
    niche market.
  • Similarly, there are many examples of micro (lt
    1 MW) and small (1-5 MW) wood biomass plants
    providing heat and/or electricity for schools,
    hospitals, conference centers and other such
    facilities. (Forest Products Lab/NREL
    demonstration program)

13
III. Toward Sustainability Integrating values
and exploring opportunities
  • Micro and Small Scale
  • Small plants are ideal for rural communities
    located at the end of the grid, with fluctuating
    power and access to small-diameter material from
    forest treatments.
  • They require less capital investment and fewer
    forest resources.
  • They provide direct economic and social benefits
    to people in small rural communities.
  • However, they may not provide demand for
    materials from extensive forest restoration.

14
III. Toward Sustainability Integrating values
and exploring opportunities
  • Medium and Large Scale
  • Medium and large biomass plants can help address
    need for extensive forest treatments and provide
    economic efficiencies, but they raise questions
    about
  • the ability to maintain long-term supply of
    materials,
  • effects on the land,
  • impacts on other small facilities and small rural
    communities.

15
III. Toward Sustainability Integrating values
and exploring opportunities
  • Medium and Large-Scale
  • A scenario from Northern California illustrates
    questions and concerns.
  • A 10-30 MW bioenergy plant integrated with
    small-log processing mill for waste wood.
  • Plants likely located in major transportation
    corridors for access to materials and markets.
  • 9,000-27,000 truckloads of material per year
    would likely involve long-term and large
    contracts, meaning larger companies and mobile
    crews.

16
III. Toward Sustainability Integrating values
and exploring opportunities
  • Medium and Large Scale
  • How sustainable is this scenario beyond long-term
    contract (e.g., 10 years)?
  • What are the effects of these large plants on
    other users of small-diameter logs in the area?
  • Where are the economic and social benefits going?

17
III. Toward Sustainability Integrating values
and exploring opportunities
  • Medium and Large Scale
  • We need to develop medium and large scale biomass
    energy plants, but recognize the questions and
    risks.
  • We must ensure that policies and practices
    stimulate the development of biomass energy
    infrastructure at different scales, and are based
    on clear strategies toward sustainability.

18
IV. Summary
  • We believe legislative authorities and rules
    provide opportunity but also challenges, so
    proceed with caution.
  • Building and maintaining public trust is
    critical, with mechanisms for collaboration
    (e.g., community fire plans and multiparty
    monitoring).

19
IV. Summary
  • We need to build industry infrastructure at
    different scales, but micro and small are less
    risky and provide direct benefits to small rural
    communities.
  • Community-based forestry groups can help --asking
    questions, working through open process, focusing
    on monitoring and learning, and seeking solutions
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