DNR announces RFP for forest biomass supply study
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DNR announces RFP for forest biomass supply study 
 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                                                                         
August 19, 2010

DNR announces RFP for forest biomass supply study
Study will focus on sustainability and vitality of Washington’s forests

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released a request for proposals to assess forest biomass availability and sustainable harvest thresholds on forested lands throughout Washington State. In July 2010, DNR received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), with a portion of these funds allocated to the study.

“We are serious about sustainability in our forests and applying science to make sure our forests will be healthy now and generations into the future,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “This study will provide us and prospective biomass investors with critical information that can be used to determine the best locations, scales, and processing technologies for forest biomass in the future. It is a very important next step of this emerging industry.”

As directed by the 2010 legislative bill, 2SHB 2481 on Long-term Supply Agreements, DNR must complete a supply study prior to being authorized to enter into long-term agreements for forest biomass from public lands.  The bill was intended to foster the continued growth of Washington’s bioenergy sector; the study will ensure that as this sector grows, it is done so sustainably.

Information on the RFP study is available at
http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/em_rfp_forest_biomass_supply_assessment.pdf

The timeline for RFP is as follows:

  • 8/25/10: Call for questions, submitted in writing to the project contact
  • 9/13/10: Deadline for RFP
  • 11/1/10: Work begins; it is anticipated to conclude within one year

Sound science needed on forest biomass supply
Ensuring that biomass removal happens in ecologically sustainable ways in Washington’s forests is a priority shared among DNR, U.S. Forest Service, and many others.

Using some of this forest biomass for liquid transportation fuel, heating, and electrical power generation will play an important role in Washington’s emerging green economy and help to address climate change.

Forest biomass markets can also provide income for forest landowners while removing small trees and brush that are currently not valuable materials and are often left behind, adding to wildfire danger. Improving forest health, creating jobs in rural parts of the state, and reducing wildfire risk and greenhouse gas emissions are all benefits of sustainable forest biomass utilization.

Forest Biomass Initiative
In 2009, HB 2165 was enacted into law authorizing DNR to implement biomass energy pilot projects in eastern and western Washington. Removing biomass feedstock in ecologically sustainable ways to produce energy (liquid fuels or heat and electricity) can:

  • Provide income for forest landowners while improving forest health;
  • Create rural jobs;
  • Reduce wildfires and greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • Aid in the production of renewable energy.

For more on DNR’s forest biomass initiative visit our website.

Media Contact: Aaron Toso, Director of Communications & Outreach, 360-902-1023, aaron.toso@dnr.wa.gov  

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DNR Communications & Outreach Office
360-902-1016
dnrnews@dnr.wa.gov

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