This letter is in reference to article on Bob Burns, chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission. He is not putting biomass on agenda at this time.

Mr. Burns, please understand the need for forest thinning and to become biomass for electric. To ask APS payers for an increase, is not asking too much. To rebuild and.or to save lives does not compare to an increase, as well keeping waterways clean.

Some valley folks may feel biomass is only for people living near the forest. While many valley folks have second homes in the forest area, these folks may not have the same concerns (fire) versus folks that live near the forest year-round.

It could be a win, win, so to say, clean up and thin forest that are thick and unhealthy — end product — clean energy!

One does not have to think much further, biomass need is here. We can create cleaner forests and produce a needed source, electric.

Pam Morrow,

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(7) comments

ronzim

Pam: Biomass is not clean energy.

Informed Consent

Biomass burning releases more CO2 than dirty coal. Leaving the chipped slash on the forest floor would allow for the CO2 to very slowly, over decades, decay into carbon that is then stored in the forest soils. More carbon is stored in soils than all of plant and animal life combined. That is why it is considered a storehouse of carbon. To state that the carbon is going to be released anyway ignores the ability for the oceans of earth to be able to slowly uptake this carbon and mediate our climate. In addition, the amount of black carbon soot that is released by burning biomass only adds to the increase rate of alpine snow/ice field melting that is crucial to the earth's ability to reflect away from the earth the solar radiation. Clearly, the fires in Australia are not being caused by mismanagement by the USFS. They are being caused by the climate change caused prolonged droughts that extend in a belt around the earth. Adding more CO2 into the atmosphere is ill advised and not cost effective. We need to attend to our own forests in the SW by taking other approaches that do not contribute to the feedback loop of greater CO2 releases and less reflective surfaces on the earth's surface. Thank you for caring about our forests.

ronzim

Informed Consent: What a blessing it is to have a post by someone who actually does research and cares about the facts. Outstanding comments.

Russ_in_WML

hahahaha what a couple of tools

meh

Biomass is not ok, because it releases CO2, but controlled burns are fine and dandy, because they burn... air? I get what ronzim and Informed Consent are saying, but what do you propose we do with the forest? You can't just say no and not propose another solution.

Informed Consent

So glad you asked. The number one thing we need to do is to acknowledge the reason that we have a thicket of small diameter trees in our southwest forests is because the FS spent over 75 years logging out wholesale the larger diameter trees without regard to the fact that they were opening the canopy so that the seedlings, that normally would not receive the sunlight and stay stunted, were shooting up. That single act transformed our forests from a mature sparsely spaced forest into the thicket that the USFS now blames on the lack of fire and the cattlemen. The first thing that we should do is change our outdated log export laws that prohibit the export of unmilled logs from west of the 100th meridian, which encompasses the entire western US. This single change would give us a market to the orient for the small diameter low value trees. All this agony about bidding on the RFP's would be over. The second thing we should do is to chip the slash and leave it on the forest floor to slowly decay and return its carbon to the soil where it belongs. Soil sequesters more carbon than animal and plant life combined. Thirdly, the FS needs to offer professional meat goat grazing contracts to keep down the seedlings that perpetually regrow in our WUI's. The important thing here is that we work toward ways that sequester the carbon and not just dump it into the atmosphere all at once so that our oceans can slowly absorb the CO2 and mediate our climate. The economic advantage is substantially more local jobs and we don't transfer our remediation costs to our healthcare system, absences from work and school and early death due to smoke pollution that the FS burn programs produce.

ronzim

Meh: This discussion has been going on for quite some time and I have posted a comprehensive program for forest management based on the creation of specific standards, goals, targets, and thresholds to evaluate sustainability. 1. Maintain a stable forest land base. 2. Maintain or increase forest biodiversity. 3. Maintain diverse forest size structure and species composition on the land. 4. Maintain or increase the quality and quantity of water from forest ecosystems. 5.Maintain or increase soil productivity and minimize soil erosion and contamination. 6. Maintain or increase the capacity for sustained yield of timber and nontimber forest products. 7. Maintain carbon-neutral operations at all times.

These recommendations are based on my desire to stop deforestation world-wide while considering the interests of all the stakeholders and not contributing to global warming. In and around human habitat, this means a program of fuel removal and safety breaks to protect structures and persons. In the forests it means clearing fuel by removing ground clutter and preserving large areas where fires will be permitted to burn themselves out. Controlled burning and biomass will not be part of the mix. Carbon-fueled vehicles must not be used in any aspect of forest management

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