CARSON CITY, Nev–The U.S. Forest Service recently awarded a $250,000 grant to the Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF) to purchase biomass collection and removal equipment. Up to 6,000 tons of biomass could be removed from fuels treatments on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, Bureau of Land Management, state, tribal and private lands.
“We, the Forest Service, fully understand the challenges of delivering affordable biomass due to the rising fuels costs incurred to collect and haul the biomass,” said Ed Monnig, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor. “NDF’s proposal was an innovative and collaborative interagency solution to decrease overall biomass supply costs,” stated Monnig. The Forest Service supports biomass use as a fuels treatment when it can be done economically, efficiently and effectively.
Grant purchases will include a truck, four roll-off containers and a trailer. Biomass collection could begin as soon as September at selected fuels reduction project sites. Biomass, or “waste wood” lacks the higher traditional wood product value of dimensional lumber. This waste wood will be chipped directly into the roll-off containers and transported via trailer.
“This grant provides a cost-effective way to remove biomass from small-scale forestry operations that are having difficulty disposing of biomass,” said Pete Anderson, Nevada’s State Forester and Firewarden. “It’s essentially a double benefit—biomass can be more effectively moved off site to ultimately help fuel the Northern Nevada Correctional Center’s power plant.” Biomass can be burned completely and more efficiently under the controlled environment of a biomass fueled boiler, increasing overall air quality in the region.
NDF matched this grant with $79,500 in the form of forest treatments, driver transportation time and fuel costs. The Nevada Department of Corrections will also provide drivers. NDF‘s proposal was 1 of 17 grants totaling $4.1 million awarded by the Forest Service’s Woody Biomass Utilization Grant Program this year. Nearly $19 million has been awarded to small businesses and community groups throughout the U.S. since the program’s inception four years ago.
Grant agency partners include the U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Department of Corrections, Nevada Tahoe Resource Team, Nevada Division of State Lands, Nevada Division of State Parks, Nevada Fire Safe Council and the Bureau of Land Management.