Despite the potential for significant utilization in the production of bioenergy and biofuels, little is known of the economic, environmental, and social availability of forest biomass or the cumulative effects of increased demand. Past studies have estimated total physical biomass available without taking into account the range of constraints imposed by transportation distances, harvest costs, environmental laws, or site access. Supply estimates are further complicated by uncertainties about the willingness of private landowners to sell timber or thin forests for biomass. The result is a potential overestimation of supply that threatens the viability of new and existing businesses, and the sustainability of the forest resource. Study results are presented on the long-term physical availability of forest biomass across northern Minnesota and Wisconsin to compare to measures of environmental, economic, and social availability. Variations in management intensity are modeled to illustrate changes in volume under different sustainability thresholds and implications for increasing the use of biomass for bioenergy production in the Lake States.
Becker, Dennis R.; Klapperich, Jon; Domke, Grant; Kilgore, Michael A.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Current, Dean; Ek, Alan R..
Sustainable Forest Feedstock for Bioenergy Production: Environmental, Economic, and Social Availability.
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