SCFC publishes harvesting guidelines for bioenergy feedstock

By Staff | July 01, 2013

The South Carolina Forestry Commission has released guidelines for the harvest of woody biomass used to generate energy. Its recommendations aim to protect water quality, plant and animal diversity, soil nutrition and quality, and productivity near harvesting operations.

The guidelines build upon existing best management practices (BMP) used by North Carolina timber harvesters via supplemental recommendations. They are not an alternative to BMP guidelines, which apply to all forestry operations.

Guidelines related to harvesting include avoiding the removal of stumps, roots and leaf litter for biomass. Those harvesting biomass are also directed to ensure piles of chips or other fine materials are not placed in areas where they might enter wetlands or water bodies. In addition, the recommendations call for limiting biomass removal on slopes, where it could lead to erosion.

The guidelines also note that, where appropriate, biomass harvesting can be employed as a means of vegetation control to enhance habitat for rare, threatened and endangered species.