Oregon nets pilot project for biomass
Money can help launch new forest restoration efforts
The U.S. Forest Service awarded Oregon a $168,000 grant for a pilot project to develop biomass energy from forest materials. The pilot project will evaluate market opportunities to develop local biomass business clusters that support forest restoration. As promising projects are identified, the state will issue grants for project development, to pay for feasibility studies, design, and preparation for financing and construction. Gov. John Kitzhaber has targeted forest biomass projects as a priority to help restore unhealthy forests and return timber industry jobs to hard-pressed rural communities.
The grant is the first of its kind from the forest service. The strong partnership between the forest service and the state of Oregon make this a unique opportunity to pursue new approaches to developing renewable energy projects that can support our forest restoration activities, says Kent Connaughton, regional forester for the U.S. Forest Services Northwest region.