“Woody biomass” refers to the woody parts of trees and other plants, including limbs, tops, needles, and leaves. Sources of biomass include forests, rangelands, and urban tree waste. Biomass is usually a byproduct of managing or restoring forests, treating hazardous fuels to reduce the threat of wildfires, and caring for urban trees.
Developing and expanding the use of woody biomass supports forest ecosystem health by improving the economic viability of both forest management and wood products manufacturing. Using woody biomass is also a valuable tool for mitigating climate change by reducing consumption of fossil fuels. The U.S. Forest Service national Woody Biomass Utilization Strategy commits the agency to four goals and three working principles:
The Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry (NA S&PF) Woody Biomass Business Plan, which tiers to the national strategy, works across several State and Private Forestry program areas. NA S&PF provides technical and financial assistance to partners interested in the sustainable use of woody biomass.
- Sustainability – Consider the ecological, social, and economic impacts of using woody biomass; ensure that forest systems are maintained or enhanced; and focus on the most efficient uses of woody biomass.
- Maintain working forest lands – Provide sufficient rewards to landowners and communities that lead them to maintaining or expanding their forest land.
- Renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions – Diversify the region’s energy portfolio, improve air quality, improve energy security, and stabilize energy prices.
- New economic opportunities – Enhance local economies by developing new markets for energy, carbon sequestration and offsets, liquid fuels, building materials, and wood-derived chemicals, bringing new business activity and reducing reliance on imported energy.
Key Woody Biomass Partner Web Sites: