Projects proposed for sustainable forestry

By Jerry W. Kram
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is seeking people who want to be involved in creating a sustainable bioenergy industry based on wood products. The EESI is beginning a two-year initiative called Developing Sustainable Bioenergy: A Tool to Revitalize Forest Ecosystems and Rural/Local Economies. The initiative will develop policies and incentives for a sustainable bioenergy industry based on forestry residues, timber slash and small-diameter, low quality trees.

The EESI is starting a discussion series on wood-based energy and is seeking foresters, academics, environmental organizations, local officials and those involved in the alternative energy business to participate. The purpose of the series is to accelerate the development of the industry in a way that complements sound forestry and economic development for rural communities. The goals of the discussion will be to define research that is necessary for the production of sustainable wood-based energy, and identify the opportunities and barriers to the widespread adoption of wood-based energy. Those interested in participating should contact Jetta Wong at or (202) 662-1885, or Jesse Caputo at or (202) 662-1882.

Likewise, the U.S. Forest Service recently called for proposals for projects that will increase the use of forest products under the National Woody Biomass Utilization Grant Program. In 2007, the program offered $6.2 million in grants ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 for projects to reduce forest management costs by increasing the value of biomass, create incentives and reduce business risk, and target the use of small-diameter trees and woody biomass. The maximum length of grants is three years. The pre-application deadline for the grant program was Nov. 2, and the full application deadline is Feb. 1. More information is available on this and other technical assistance programs at