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Celebrating the benefits of forests and biomass during National Bioenergy Day

Across the United States (US), events are being held by trade associations, companies, agencies, and other stakeholders to celebrate the environmental and economic benefits of bioenergy on the local, state and national levels. Led by the Biomass Power Association in partnership with the US Forest Service, National Bioenergy Day facilitates interaction between bioenergy projects and their local communities, raising awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of bioenergy.

Across the United States (US), events are being held by trade associations, companies, agencies, and other stakeholders to celebrate the environmental and economic benefits of bioenergy on the local, state and national levels.

National Bioenergy Day 2018 is being held as part of the 58th National Forest Products Week, an annual institution for the US forestry, wood and forest products industry. The purpose of Bioenergy Day is to highlight the importance of using domestic biomass for a wide variety of applications: renewable energy, heating and cooling, and biobased products, to improve forest health, mitigate climate change, and create jobs in rural America.

The continuation of Bioenergy Day into a sixth year is truly exciting. We are grateful to our sponsors, particularly the US Forest Service, for their dedication to raising awareness about the role of bioenergy in communities across the nation. Today, all across the country, people are learning about bioenergy and how it helps local economies and forests, said Bob Cleaves, President, and CEO of Biomass Power Association (BPA).

Events and activities this year vary and also include activities in Canada. Representing a wide array of interests, a statement of support on the benefits of bioenergy was signed by 89 organizations and led by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute and Sustainable Northwest.

During National Forest Products Week the USDA announced a new grant to expand wood products and wood energy markets.

Amongst other things, the signatories highlighted the “Goldilocks” renewable that woody biomass is sometimes referred to as – use too much and run the risk of undue harm to ecosystems and forests. Use too little, and run the risk of having overstocked forests that are unhealthy and at increased risk of wildfire.

The use of wood for thermal energy from sustainably managed forest lands has numerous economic and environmental benefits, including local job creation and enhanced energy security in rural communities, reduction of GHG emissions from fossil fuels, and improved forest management, which reduces the risk of wildfires on public and private lands. Community scale heating, combined heat and power (CHP) and district heating projects can help build strong local markets in support of responsible stewardship of these lands. Today, BTEC celebrates the immense value our forest resources provide to local communities and will continue to advance policies in Washington that will support the sustainable management of our forests for generations to come, said Jeff Serfass, Executive Director, Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC).

In keeping with previous Bioenergy Day celebrations, BTEC has launched a new video produced in collaboration with some of its members – this time on bioenergy’s contributions to making malts for craft beer.

Drax Biomass, Inc., the US wood pellet production subsidiary of UK-headed power major Drax Power Plc is participating by promoting sustainable forestry practices and lending a helping hand at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

“We’re happy to provide resources to forest landowners to help them reach their land management goals. A well-managed forest can produce a significant return on investment for the landowner while also providing recreational, ecological and aesthetic benefits and opportunities,” said Richard Peberdy, Drax Biomass Vice President of Sustainability, here seen discussing sustainability during the 2018 USIPA conference in Chicago.

In a separate effort, Drax Biomass is partnering with Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge to provide interpretive signage and tree identification along its Edgewater trail.

We are thrilled to have Drax Biomass help us with signage and expertise at the refuge. Many people don’t realize what we have to offer so this investment from Drax will go a long way in helping us promote Black Bayou and educate our visitors on the complex and unique ecosystem native to Louisiana, said Nova Clarke, Refuge Ranger at Black Bayou Lake.

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