There are multiple benefits
that the public can derive from using forest biomass as a heating
fuel. Start with the fact that it encourages sustainable forestry.
Benefits Already Derived
from the Practice of Sustainable Forestry
- It improves the health and beauty of our forests by:
- Fighting the spread and impact of insect infestation
- Fighting the spread and impact of disease
- Promoting the growth of vital, healthy trees
- It reduces the danger and expense of wildfire by:
- Reducing fuel loads thereby reducing a fire’s size
and the damage caused
- Allowing firefighters to easily and economically contain
and control fires
- It improves habitat for wildlife by:
- Creating open space for deer and elk
- Planting cover and feed for birds..
Benefits that will Be Derived
by Utilizing Forest Biomass for Heating
1. It encourages the use of a sustainable
fuel source. Used in conjunction with sustainable forestry
practices, wood can provide a sustainable alternative to the limited,
unsustainable, and increasingly expensive supplies of fossil fuels.
2. It reduces the expense to heat our public
buildings. Why waste tax dollars burning up an unsustainable
and expensive fossil fuel when a much more desirable local natural
resource is just out side the city limits.
3. It mitigates the waste of one of our most versatile and
abundant natural resources. Many thousands of acres of
trees are burned every year because the fuel loads in our forests
are unnaturally high due to years of fire suppression. Much of that
fuel could be utilized productively as fuel to heat buildings.
4. It reduces the danger to your neighbors and their property. Having a productive use for what would otherwise be forest waste
encourages forest landowners to remove slash from their forests
before it becomes fuel for deadly wildfires.
5. It encourages the reduction of air pollution. Currently thousands of tons of forest biomass are destroyed through
wildfires, prescribed burns and slash burns. The tars and particulates
disbursed into the air present health risks to many and, at the
very least, contribute to the ever-increasing haze and smog that
we must live with.
6. It encourages the reduction of global warming. Unlike fossil fuels, the use of forest biomass for fuel does not
add to the “greenhouse effect” and exacerbate global
7. It reduces the public’s dependency on foreign sources
of energy. There are numerous communities in Colorado that
are surrounded by an abundant and sustainable natural energy resource,
yet they spend money to truck in fossil fuels that may have originated
from other countries half way around the world.
8. It may provide more local jobs. Local people
will be needed to provide the infrastructure to efficiently supply
9. It encourages more forest landowners to use sustainable
forestry practices. Increased use of forest biomass promotes
healthier forests, reduced fire danger and more abundant wildlife.