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Pinchot focus areas:

Climate & Energy
Ensuring Forest Sustainability in the Development of Wood-based Bioenergy in the Pacific Coast
2010 Regional Meeting: The Pacific Coast
Hosted by the University of California, Davis on February 24-25, the Pinchot Institute for Conservation and the Heinz Center convened a regional workshop to identifying common principles and objectives to guide the environmentally sustainable development of wood bioenergy along the Pacific Coast; to evaluate how well objectives for renewable energy development mesh with goals for forest ecosystem restoration and long-term sustainable management of public
California brush
and private forests; to develop the basis for consistent and reliable natural resource information related to biomass supply; and to identify appropriate and broadly supported policy approaches to safeguarding various conservation values during expansion of the region’s capacity for biomass utilization. Workshop participants from Alaska to California included representatives from the energy industry, the forest products industry, federal land management agencies, state forestry agencies, conservation NGOs and academia. As conveners of this meeting, and of the larger dialogue process, the Pinchot Institute and the Heinz Center approached questions on the sustainability of bioenergy development from a neutral standpoint, and managed discussions at the meeting to provide a fair hearing of all points made by the interested stakeholders. 

Panel and Presentations

Introduction. Ensuring Sustainability in the Development of Wood-based Bioenergy in the Pacific Coast. V. Alaric Sample, Pinchot Institute for Conservation [Download pdf]

Panel 1: Providing reliable estimates of sustainable and available biomass supply.  What are the best methodologies for estimating available and sustainable woody biomass supplies (near-term, long-term) as a basis for bioenergy/biofuels facilities siting (beyond FIA—ecological, economic, social considerations)?  What is the expected supply response from private forests?  What are the mechanisms for making woody biomass available from ecosystem restoration/stewardship activities on federal lands?  How to factor in current/expected demand from existing wood-using industries?

  • Catherine Mater, Pinchot Institute for Conservation, and Mater, LTD [Download pdf]
  • Jeremy Fried, USFS PNW Research Station [Download pdf]
  • Tad Mason, TSS Consultants [Download pdf]
California evergreen

Panel 2.
  Sustainability considerations.  What is the risk for significant disturbances and loss of future forest resource products and ecosystem services?  What safeguards are in place to ensure that biomass harvesting is done sustainably, and consistent with the management of other resource values and services?  Potential role of biomass energy in achieving ecosystem restoration goals and reducing wildfire risk? What is the potential role for certification and other nongovernmental sustainability programs?


  • Jocelyn Tutak, Conservation Biology Institute [Download pdf]
  • Debbie Hammel, Natural Resources Defense Council [Download pdf]
  • Anton Chiono, Pacific Forest Trust [Download pdf]
  • David Saah, University of San Francisco

Keynote Address. USDA Priorities for Sustainable Wood Bioenergy Development. Jay Jensen, Deputy Undersecretary of Natural Resources, US Department of Agriculture.

Panel 3:  Options for build-out of a sustainable wood bioenergy industry in the Pacific Coast region.  What are the options for developing a wood bioenergy industry that is flexible enough to adapt to differences between near-term and long-term biomass supplies from ecosystem restoration activities?  What mechanisms are needed to facilitate financial viability without creating economic dependency or raising risks of future disruptions in local economies?  What factors should be considered in matching the type of facility to local circumstances, in terms of community economic development goals and sustainable management of forest resources?  

  • Wade Mosby, Collins Pine [Download pdf]
  • Diana Scholtes, Iberdrola Renewables [Download pdf]
  • Jim Walls, Lake Country Resources Initiative

Panel 4:  Regional bioenergy strategy and lessons for renewable energy policy.  What is the continuing role of federal and state renewable energy, economic, and natural resource policy in guiding development along optimal lines; what are the regional “lessons learned” that need to be reflected in flexible national renewable energy policies?

  • Jim Peña, USDA Forest Service R5
  • Gilbert Zepeda, USDA Forest Service R3
Additional Documents:
  • Ensuring Forest Sustainability in the Development of Wood-based Bioenergy in the Pacific Coast - Full Summary [Download pdf]
  • Pacific Coast Regional Bioenergy Meeting Agenda [Download pdf]
  • Pacific Coast Regional Bioenergy Meeting List of Participants [Download pdf]
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