If You Build It, They Will Cut
- by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor
Generating biomass energy doesn't result in more logging, according to the biomass industry, whose spokespersons claim facilities only make use of "waste" wood already coming from existing logging operations.
Ron Kotrba, Senior Editor for Pellet Mill Magazine, wrote in the May/June 2015 issue that biomass is the "most unlikely of the forest products to drive the general practice of forestry in the U.S."
Kotrba believes that the notion of biomass "driving forestry practices in the U.S. is a purposefully deceptive scare tactic used by some in an attempt to influence the perceptions of policy makers and the public."
Chris Matera, director of Massachusetts Forest Watch, a grassroots forest advocacy group based in Northampton, has long warned that "wood fueled biomass energy will add tremendous pressure, and further degrade already stressed forests."
"Existing wood-fueled biomass facilities already cut and burn enormous amounts of whole trees for fuel," said Matera, "and any new facilities will only add more logging pressure."
Clearly, opinions differ among the biomass industry and its critics, leaving the question: do biomass energy facilities increase logging?
-- Editor, The Biomass Monitor Editor, Energy Justice Now