Loggers and logging businesses play key roles in sustaining both Wisconsin’s forests and the wood-using industries that depend on them. Our intent in this summary isn’t to provide a detailed a analysis of the results we’ve posted, as we plan to do that in a separate print publication. However, we would make the following four observations that seem evident in our findings.
In the 2010 survey, we were particularly interested in loggers’ views of the potential of woody biomass and bioenergy to reshape the logging sector. Our data show that woody biomass for pellets or bioenergy constituted about 2% of overall 2010 volume harvested using mechanized harvest systems that use feller-bunchers and/or harvesters, while less than 0.5% of the volume harvested by those using chainsaws.
Late last week, I was interviewed by Aaron Joyce, News Director at WRCO in Richland Center (click logo for more on station). He was one of 600 residents in SW Wisconsin to receive a questionnaire about bioenergy and land use.
Click here to download/listen to the full interview (mp3, 3.1 MB, 3m 15s).
This week I am attending Sustainable Bioenergy Training Program for Extension Educators in Columbia, MO, along with several extension colleagues from Wisconsin as well as the North Central region. The hope that we will develop a comprehensive extension curriculum to support the bioenergy discussion in Wisconsin.
Sustainable bioenergy derived from cellulosic biomass offers the potential to create new market and diversification opportunities for Wisconsin farmers, woodland owners, and their local communities. However, achieving sustainable biomass supply within Wisconsin’s mixed-use landscapes that include both agriculture and forest systems will require some degree of coordination across their strikingly different and traditionally isolated stakeholder networks.
We had some excellent news on Friday. The Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Agriculture funded our project, Identifying and engaging stakeholder networks toward sustainable, multi-sourced biomass production. The proposal summary is below. We anticipate starting the project either this summer or fall, but need additional clarification.
The Country Today had a quite interesting article last week on a loan program to help landowners enter the Managed Forest Law: The Glenwood Project. As you read the article, though, it's not just the loan program, but a more encompassing view of forests and forestry.
Many thanks to The Country Today for allowing me to reprint it here. I added a few links where appropriate.
Out of the woods: Western Wisconsin initiative helps low-income woodland owners keep, benefit from their land