The Forestry Source - November 2010 - (Page 1)
News for forest resource professionals published by the Society of American Foresters November 2010 • Vol. 15, No. 11
Why Congress, EPA Must Promote Biomass Energy
Talking with the Biomass Power Association’s Bob Cleaves
I N T H I S I S S U E
Rushmore display showcases benefits of forest management in MPB battle Thanks to members of the Dakotas SAF and their natural resources management colleagues throughout the Black Hills, visitors to the Exhibit Hall at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota now have something new to look at—a three-panel, 16-foot-long, fourfoot-high exhibit that explains the benefits of forest management in the ongoing battle against the mountain pine beetle, which is having a devastating effect on the region’s landscape. Page 9. Emerald ash borer tour demonstrates realities of pest’s spread As of August, 31 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties have been placed under quarantine to help slow the spread of the emerald ash borer. Yet, despite Pennsylvania’s efforts to stop the pest’s advance, no one doubts that the ash borer’s eventual spread across the state is a matter of “when” rather than “if.” Page 10. A comparison of woody biomass comminution systems in the Western Gulf region There are many advantages to using woody biomass that make it an attractive feedstock for the bioproducts industry. One concern, however, is the lack of currently available, economically feasible conversion technologies. Page 12. Field Tech: GeoLiTE an ArcGIS extension to assist in LiDAR data processing LiDAR data processing is still challenging for most foresters, because of the high cost of commercial software and available algorithms. To ease this difficulty, the GeoTREE Center at University of Northern Iowa has developed GeoLiTE, an ArcGIS extension for general LiDAR data users. Page 14.
By Steve Wilent o Bob Cleaves, increasing the nation’s use of woody biomass to produce energy is “an absolute no-brainer.” You’d expect the president and chief executive officer of the Biomass Power Association (BPA) to say that, of course, but to Cleaves this is much more than a mere sound bite. He firmly believes that biomass power is clean and renewable and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and he says that there is ample scientific evidence to prove it. What’s more, says Cleaves, generating power with biomass offers a means of improving forest health and creating jobs for US workers, among other benefits. The BPA (www.usabiomass.org) represents 80 biomass power plants in 20 states, and members include forest products companies such as Plum Creek Timber and Collins Pine. According to Cleaves, who has been with the BPA for 10 years, 90 percent of the association’s members use woody biomass to generate power. The following is an edited transcript of an interview with Cleaves held in October. The Forestry Source: There is a lot going on with biomass these days.
What’s the number one issue for the Biomass Power Association? Cleaves: We look at issues facing biomass in two respects: What will drive the growth of biomass, and what will prevent that growth? The greatest single issue that will promote the growth of biomass in this country is putting a price on carbon in some manner. That could take any number of forms. It could be a federal renewable energy standard, it could be a carbon—dare I say it—tax. Something that distinguishes the benefits of biomass relative to fossil fuels would go a long way toward promoting the industry. The number one threat to the biomass industry overall is the quite troubling perception coming out of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that, from a carbon perspective, biomass is somehow the same as fossil fuels and is not beneficial. That is profoundly unscientific and simply wrong.
Woody biomass powers the McNeil Generating
You’re referring to the Manomet Station in Burlington, Vermont. Center for Conservation Sciences’s publication, Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study? (See “Cleaves” page 3)
Denver, US Forest Service Seal Watershed Restoration Deal
EPA to Require Permits for Aerial Pesticide Applications
ick Cables, regional forester for the US Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Region for nearly a decade, recalls a conversation eight years or so ago with the late Chips Barry, then the chair of Denver Water, Colorado’s oldest and largest water utility. The subject: water. Specifically, the need for improving forest health in the watersheds that serve Denver. “We talked about the concept of us part-
nering in a way that would let us tie into the urban public here, to make people aware of where their water comes from and to have them invest in the stewardship of the lands where their water starts,” said Cables. “We agreed that it would not take a huge amount of per-month investment to create a fund that we could use for restoration and for sus(See “Denver” page 4)
US Forest Service
D E PA RT M E N T S
2 6 7 14 16 17 17 Editor’s Notebook In Brief Industry News Field Tech People in the News Continuing Ed. Calendar Classifieds Beetle-killed lodgepole pines removed along the Tenderfoot Trail on the Dillon Ranger District, White River National Forest, about 75 miles west of Denver.
he US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to broaden its regulation of the use of pesticides in or near waters of the United States by requiring pesticide operators to obtain Pesticide General Permits (PGPs) for such applications. The new rules, which are scheduled to become effective on April 9, 2011, apply to four types of pesticide application, including “Forest Canopy Pest Control—aerial application of a pesticide over a forest canopy to control the population of a pest species (e.g., insect or pathogen) where to target the pests effectively a portion of the pesticide unavoidably will be applied over and deposited into water.” Pesticide operators who aerially apply chemical or biological pesticides to 640 or more acres of forest canopy annually are subject to the new rule. Although the permits will not be required for ground-based pesticide applications, the EPA is considering the expansion of its Clean Water Act authority to regulate such practices. The new permit requirement also applies to mosquito and other flying insect pest control, aquatic weed and algae control, and aquatic nuisance animal control. In all, the EPA estimates that about 35,000 pesticide applicators in the United States that perform roughly half a million pesticide applications annually will be subject (See “Pesticides” page 5)
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Forestry Source - November 2010
The Forestry Source - November 2010
People in the News
Continuing Ed. Calendar
The Forestry Source - November 2010