State DNR selects group to conduct statewide forest biomass supply assessment
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State DNR selects group to conduct statewide forest biomass supply assessment 
 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                    
December 8, 2010

State DNR selects group to conduct statewide forest biomass supply assessment
The University of Washington with TSS Consultants will conduct research to help guide the further development of a sustainable forest biomass industry

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has selected the University of Washington School of Forest Resources, which will work with TSS Consultants, as the research team to conduct a statewide forest biomass supply study. The study, the first of its kind in the nation, seeks to obtain data on the economically and ecologically available forest biomass in Washington’s working forests.

“I am confident that the team at the University of Washington will apply the necessary scientific rigor to this study,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “It is important to me that we continue to move forward with the forest biomass initiative thoughtfully. Understanding what is actually available in our forests will help ensure that bioenergy facilities in Washington are appropriately scaled to our resource base.”

The study, using part of a $1 million grant DNR received from the U.S. Forest Service this summer, will be conducted over the next 10 months. To determine what is available, factors including environmental protection, road access, existing infrastructure, and travel distance to a facility will be evaluated.

DNR selected the University of Washington for the study based on its response to a competitive request for proposals (RFP) the agency issued this summer.

For more information about DNR’s Forest Biomass Initiative and the original RFP for this study, please visit: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/ResearchScience/Topics/OtherConservationInformation/Pages/em_biomass.aspx  

The supply study is required by the state’s Forest Biomass Supply Agreements Bill (2SHB 2481), which received almost unanimous support from the 2010 Washington Legislature.

Later this month, DNR will submit to the Legislature a comprehensive update on the agency’s Forest Biomass Initiative. It will include updates on the pilot projects identified in HB 2165 as well as the literature review on the carbon neutrality of forest biomass required in 2SHB 2184. That report will discuss the challenges and opportunities that have emerged through the pilot projects, as well as other relevant items that have emerged as the Forest Biomass Initiative has moved forward.

Forest biomass at DNR
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.

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

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