Many forests in the Pacific Northwest are overstocked with trees, to the detriment of their ecological health. Thinning them is critical to improving tree growth, enhancing wildlife habitat, and reducing wildlife risk. But the challenge is often how to pay for that thinning, particularly when the trees are too small to mill as sawlogs, and they are distant from a pulp mill.
One emerging commercial opportunity for this perceived “low value” material is to turn it into biochar, a form of charcoal used as a soil amendment. Another option is to burn it for energy as biofuel. These resources explain more about how to decide whether these opportunities might be right for you.
- Forest Health and Biochar Study Results
- Biochar Market Analysis for San Juan County and the Pacific Northwest
- Woody Biomass Production Methods
- Biochar Production Photo Essay
- Restore Char – a website dedicated to the manufacture and sale of biochar
- Charcoal: the Intersection of Sustainable Farming and Forestry
- Energy from Woody Biomass – Meagan Nuss
- Biomass Energy and Biofuels from Oregon’s Forests
- A Primer on Woody Biomass Energy for Forest Landowners