Nevada State Forester calls for increased biomass production

Nevada Division of Forestry Logo(Division of Forestry) CARSON CITY, Nev.—Nevada State Forester Pete Anderson recently called for increased investments into biomass technologies in Nevada. A devastating 2006 fire season created tremendous impacts on Nevada’s lands, including ranching operations put out of business, wildlife losses and the spread of invasive weeds like cheatgrass. Anderson said that “biomass tools can be utilized to address the fire situation.”

One example of a biomass project already in place includes the Nevada Fuels for Schools program, which helped fund a biomass heating system at David E. Norman Elementary School in Ely, Nevada. The U.S. Forest Service funded a $340,000 grant that was awarded to the school through the Nevada Division of Forestry.

The money paid for converting the school’s heating system from oil-fired steam boilers to biomass-fired steam boilers. The school is now heated by 1,000 tons of woodchips from nearby Mt. Wilson fuels reduction efforts.

Anderson said that biomass production can help reduce fuels build-up on Nevada lands as well as provide a clean form of energy.

“In western states where a majority of the land base is managed by federal agencies, particularly here in Nevada, we are faced with more unique challenges in moving new ideas forward,” he said. “One hurdle is that the public and Congress struggle to accept that forest and woodland resources are renewable, and the fact that biomass is a renewable resource with many benefits. Biomass is often left out of the solar, geothermal and wind discussions as an alternative and clean renewable energy source.”

Anderson addressed attendees of the Nevada Biomass Conference held recently in Reno. The conference was organized by the Governor’s office and the Nevada State Energy Office.

The Nevada Division of Forestry is a division within the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The Division coordinates and manages all forestry, nursery, endangered plant species and watershed resource activities on certain public and private lands. The Division provides protection of life, property and natural resources through fire suppression, prevention programs and provides other emergency services as required.

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