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Title: Estimating volumes and costs of forest biomass in western Montana using forest inventory and geospatial data

Author: Loeffler, Dan; Calkin, David E.; Silverstein, Robin P.;

Date: 2006

Source: Forest products journal. 56(6): 31-37

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Utilizing timber harvest residues (biomass) for renewable energy production provides an alternative disposal method to onsite burning that may improve the economic viability of hazardous fuels treatments. Due to the relatively low value of biomass, accurate estimates of biomass volumes and costs of collection and delivery are essential if investment in renewable energy production is to occur. We have established a spatial framework for estimating biomass volumes and costs of availability using publicly available data and models for Ravalli County in Western Montana. We used forest inventory data to estimate forest conditions and remotely sensed data to identify lands suitable for treatment and the spatial distribution of biomass resources. Using our framework, we geographically identified approximately 67,000 acres of low elevation, frequent fire interval forestland potentially available for fuel reduction treatment. Our analysis of forest inventory data shows that if a comprehensive forest restoration treatment is applied to these selected forestlands, 12 to 14 green tons per acre of biomass are potentially available for energy production in Ravalli County, Montana, at reasonable delivered costs.

Keywords: biomass, volume, cost, timber, renewable energy sources, energy conservation, forest inventories, Montana

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Loeffler, Dan; Calkin, David E.; Silverstein, Robin P. 2006. Estimating volumes and costs of forest biomass in western Montana using forest inventory and geospatial data. Forest products journal. 56(6): 31-37

 


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