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Pinchot focus areas:

Climate & Energy
The Potential for Sustainable Wood-Based Bioenergy in Maryland: Summary and Conclusions
The Potential for Sustainable Wood-Based Bioenergy in Maryland
A Guide to Forest Biomass Harvesting and Retention in Maryland
Sustainable Wood Bioenergy in Maryland
Wood Biomass Harvesting Guidelines
Sawed logs with underbrush
Maryland's 2.6 million acres of forest land comprise some of the most diverse forest types and habitats on the east coast, yet a number of threats could compromise the countless benefits provided by these forests in the coming decades. If developed at an appropriate-scale and with safeguards in place, bioenergy markets could theoretically be a positive force for the sustainable management and conservation of Maryland’s forest resources. However, these same markets raise concerns about the potential for negative impacts to the state’s natural resources and existing industry.

The Pinchot Institute facilitated a year-long multi-party consultative process to help stakeholders gain a better understanding of what constitutes sustainable wood-based bioenergy in Maryland.

This project produced a comprehensive analytical report -- entitled The Potential for Sustainable Wood-Based Bioenergy in Maryland -- covering bioenergy technologies, Maryland’s energy and forest policy framework, and estimates of available biomass, in an effort to determine whether wood-based bioenergy infrastructure may be sustained given the states unique circumstances. The report's Executive Summary is also available for download.

The consultative process also brought forth a comprehensive review of the science and policy behind biomass harvesting that ultimately ended up with the development of Maryland’s Forest Biomass Harvesting and Retention Guidelines. These guidelines were crafted to be a comprehensive yet accessible source of information about appropriate safeguards for protecting biodiversity, forest productivity, and other important conservation values during biomass harvests. 

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