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Wood Bioenergy: Biomass Harvesting Guidelines

Pinchot focus areas:

Climate & Energy
The Potential for Sustainable Wood-Based Bioenergy in Maryland
A Guide to Forest Biomass Harvesting and Retention in Maryland
Revised Assessment of Biomass Harvesting and Retention Guidelines
Wood Bioenergy: Biomass Harvesting Standards and Technical Reports
Timber Harvesting
One of the key elements in the Pinchot Institute’s work on sustainable wood bioenergy development is an examination of the adequacy of existing environmental safeguards to address large-scale and highly-intensive harvesting of wood for energy. The Pinchot Institute is working with a number of diverse stakeholders at the state level to explore the ability of biomass harvesting standards and management frameworks to maintain forest conservation values and ecosystem services during energy wood harvests.  Forest type, forest economics, conservation objectives, and biomass availability all vary by regions and states.  Biomass harvesting guidelines themselves will reflect these ecological, economic, and social differences, and thus can be expected to vary significantly from region to region, and state to state.

The Institute is working with state forestry agencies and the USDA Forest Service to develop these biomass harvesting standards customized to the needs and objectives of individual states to help avoid potential impacts to soil, water, wildlife, biodiversity and ensure that forest regeneration occurs with increased biomass removal. This effort will be linked to broader regional and national efforts by government agencies, NGOs, and industry to develop more generalized sustainable biomass harvesting frameworks. The Institute also continues to explore the integration of biomass harvesting standards in forest certification programs and is interested in developing procurement guidelines for wood-based energy enterprises.

Potential for Sustainable Wood Bioenergy in Maryland
This project characterizes the likely scale and nature of emerging markets for woody biomass, while establishing state biomass harvesting and retention guidelines in Maryland. 

Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy in Massachusetts

Through an integrated approach to forest and carbon policy, the Pinchot Institute worked with a team of experts to evaluate the sustainability of various forest biomass harvesting regimes and bioenergy systems within the specific context of Massachusetts.

Technical Papers

Revised assessment of biomass harvesting and retention guidelines , Alexander Evans, Bob Perschel, Brian Kittler

Guidelines for harvesting forest biomass for energy: A synthesis of environmental considerations , Dalia Abbas, Dean Current, Michael Phillips, Richard Rossman, Kenneth N. Brooks, and Howard Hoganson

Energy from woody biomass: A review of harvesting guidelines and a discussion of related challenges , Kathryn Fernholz (Dovetail Partners, Inc.) 

Developing woody biomass harvesting guidelines for Wisconsin's forestland
, Darrell Zastrow (Wisconsin DNR)   

Forest fuel harvesting: a review of environmental risks, criteria and indicators and certification standards for environmental sustainability , Brenna Lattimore and Tat Smith (University of Toronto)

Sustainability indicators for woody biomass harvesting , Pankaj Lal (Virginia Polytechnic and State University) 
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