What is Woody Biomass?
The term biomass most simply defined is the organic matter in trees, agricultural crops, and other living plant materials.
Woody biomass refers to trees, shrubs, bushes, or products derived from these woody plants that accumulate to an amount that is a hazard or disposal problem.
Check out the fact sheets below for more information.
Biomass Feasibility in Mendocino County
In the early 2000's a Mendocino County Woody Biomass Working Group was formed with the mission to:
"Study the feasibility of utilizing woody biomass for energy production and economically viable value-added products by developing strategies for biomass projects that are consistent with community needs/values, that promote environmental health, and that strengthen our economy."
While the working group is no longer active, below you will find information on their work and the resources they produced.
Mendocino County Woody Biomass Working Group
Ecological Assessment of Biomass Thinning in Coastal Forests
create problems when it is not used."
Phil Giles, North Coast Resource Conservation and Development Council
One of Mendocino County's most valuable resources are its forests and the capacity to grow good timber. For our community to prosper, it makes economic sense to utilize this resource in a sustainable way. Woody biomass is a low value by-product of timber harvesting, bottom up thinning and other similar processes. Biomass is one of the few renewable resources that actually create problems when it is not used. Over population of small diameter trees negatively impact forest health and create fuel that feeds catastrophic forest fires. At the same time biomass is a carbon neutral, renewable resource that can potentially help replace dependence on fossil fuels for energy needs and promote economic stability in the region providing well-paid jobs and increasing the local tax base. Mendocino County has abundant biomass resources (see links below). These resources give our area a unique opportunity to both restore our forests and strengthen our economy in a way that promotes community health.
Woody Biomass Resources
An Assessment of Biomass Harvesting Guidelines
Wisconsin's Forestland Woody Biomass Harvesting Guidelines
Biomass Harvesting Guidelines for Forestlands, Brushlands and Open Lands
Woody Biomass Harvesting for Managing Brushlands and Open Lands
Guidance on Harvesting Woody Biomass for Energy in Pennsylvania