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What is biomass?

Woody biomass refers to both forest biomass and mill residuals.

  • Forest biomass: the “left-overs” in the woods after harvesting – tops, limbs, defect, or small-diameter trees and other low-value material (slash)
  • Mill residuals: the by-products of wood products manufacturing such as shavings, sawdust, and clean wood chips

Build-up of this material invites disease outbreaks and insect infestations. It also poses a wildfire hazard. Millions of acres of Oregon's forests are at high risk of damaging fires due to excess biomass.

Restoration success stories

ODF has produced a new multi-media series highlighting ways communities in Oregon and northern California are integrating forest restoration and local economic development. In these stories, you’ll meet individuals from a diverse background who have all rolled up their sleeves to forge solutions that are true to the land and the community.

Forest restoration is important and expensive work. These stories show how increasing forest resilience requires collaboration and the right type of infrastructure. When environmentalists, land managers and industry representatives work together they demonstrate how the profit motive and the stewardship ethic can go hand-in-hand.

Restoration Renaissance: A New Paradigm in John Day

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When the town’s remaining lumber mill threatened to close environmentalists and local leaders stepped in to save it. Learn more.

From the Ground Up: A Story of Stewardship in Lake County

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A remote rural community becomes a national leader in collaboration redefining the idea of stewardship. Learn more.

Living with Fire: Black is the New Green in Trinity County

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Local leaders and forest managers are discovering how living with fire keeps communities safe and creates new local businesses. Learn more.

Handbook guides biomass businesses

Small-diameter log and biomass utilization business can help fund forest management and restoration. These businesses can provide much-needed jobs in rural communities. So, what should those interested in turning the by-products of forest management into profitable enterprises consider? An online handbook published by the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, takes a collaborative approach to enterprise development, and recognizes the important role of partnerships and land managers in developing sustainable wood products businesses. This guidance is particularly relevant to communities and businesses near public lands.

Biomass enterprise economic model

Oregon State University's Wood Innovation Center Biomass Enterprise Economic Model is designed to help users evaluate and scale biomass utilization enterprises. Model users can explore how volume and product mixes influence costs and revenues under a variety of design scenarios, as well as visualizing the impact of key variables on annual cash flow, capital investment, and simple payback.
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Marcus Kauffman
Biomass Resource Specialist

Carbonizing video

Biomass success video