March 18, 2011
By the end of this year it should be known if the Wenatchee and Okanogan
National Forest has adequate resources to support a commercial biomass industry. That’s the message Forest
Supervisor Becky Heath brought to the Chelan County Port District. Heath is part of a working group involving the
Port, Chelan County and other stakeholders who’ve been studying the issue. Steve Hair reports . .
provided Commissioners with an update on those continuing discussions. She says there are possible economic
benefits for the Forest Service as well as communities who’s timber industries have closed down . .
says from a forest and public health standpoint it would make more sense to recycle the biomass material for power
generation than by the traditional method of prescribed burning. The question is, how do you entice private
investment in such an enterprize . .
The other problem identified by Heath is determining if the Forest has
an adequate supply of woody debris to support a biomass processing facility . . .
The results of the state
forest survey should be released in Mid-October.