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Knowledge Products to Inform Rural Communities about Sustainable Forestry for Bioenergy and Biobased Products C.T. Smith, L. Biles, D. Cassidy, C.D. Foster, J. Gan, W.G. Hubbard, B.D. Jackson, C. Mayfield and H.M. Rauscher Texas A&M University, Southern Forest Research Partnership,

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Knowledge Products

to Inform Rural Communities about

Sustainable Forestry

for Bioenergy and Biobased Products

C.T. Smith, L. Biles, D. Cassidy, C.D. Foster, J. Gan,

W.G. Hubbard, B.D. Jackson, C. Mayfield and H.M. Rauscher

Texas A&M University, Southern Forest Research Partnership,

Southern (USA) Region Forestry Extension,

University of Georgia, USDA Forest Service

IUFRO Conference on

Transfer of Forest Science Knowledge and Technology

Troutdale, Oregon

10-13 May 2005

  • Outline

  • Describe the issues and opportunities facing

  • rural communities in the southern USA

  • Provide overview of USDA funded project

  • Stimulate questions and discussion

13 Southern states

Geographic region

and dominant forest types

Eastern forest types

  • Situation in the rural South

  • Forces of change described in the

  • Southern Forest Resource Assessment

  • Wear and Greis, 2002 --

  • Five forces are reshaping forests:

    • Land markets – losses to urbanization

    • Timber markets – increased Southern production

    • Social institutions – increasing regulations

    • Biological factors – spread of native and exotic pests

    • Physical factors – increased pollution and catastrophic disturbance

  • Issues and opportunities facing the South

  • The South provides 60% of the USA timber supply

  • Many rural communities are:

    • richly endowed with forest resources

    • heavily dependent on forestry

    • socially & economically disadvantaged

  • Recent setbacks in pulpwood markets

  • Urgent need to diversify utilization of forest resources

  • Potentially large resource of underutilized biomass

    • small diameter, dense stands

    • stands posing high fire risk in WUI areas

    • harvest residues

    • manufacturing and processing residues

  • Bioenergy and biobased products are:

    • timely and viable option

  • If Bioenergy and biobased products are

  • a timely and viable option,

  • What is necessary to seize the moment?

  • Educate key communities of interest about

    • Resource availability

    • Sustainable forest management

    • Harvesting and transport logistics system design

    • Processing systems

    • Woody biomass utilization opportunities

  • Assuming factors key to implementation include

    • awareness of opportunities

    • technical knowledge

    • coordination of key communities of interest

Critical Components of Sustainable Bioenergy Production Systems

Environmental Sustainability

Consumer Demand

Sustainable Production of Biobased Products

Sustainable Forest Operations


Energy Production

Product Delivery Logistics

Rural Economic Development

Martin Holmer, 2001

IEA Bioenergy Task 31

Source: Texas Forest Service, 2004 Systems

Source: Spatial Science Laboratory, Texas A&M

Capacity (MW) Systems


or above


















Operational Electricity Capacity Based on Logging Residues from Growing Stock & Other Sources

Logistical options Systems

to recover

loose residues

Source: Björheden

Courtesy Tapio Ranta, VTT Processes 2002

< 5 TWh Systems

Recycled wood

Forest sector

> 50 TWh

~ 3 TWh


0.7 TWh



4.4 TWh


1 TWh


5 TWh

Black liquor, Pine oil

> 35 TWh

Forest energy is important in Nordic countries…

Denmark 5, Norway >10, in Sweden and Finland ~25%

Source: Björheden

Sugar Platform Systems


Chemicals & Materials

U.S. Department of EnergyEnergy Efficiency and Renewable EnergyOffice of the Biomass Program

Advanced Biomass R&D

Sugar Feedstocks,

Lignin Intermediates



Heat &



Clean Gas

Thermochemical Platform

Conditioned Gas


Systems Integration = Biorefineries

Source: Russo

  • Recent policy and legislation in the USA includes: evaluation

  • Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000

  • Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003

    • containing Title II: Biomass Research

  • Related development of USDA-DOE program titled

  • “Biomass Research and Development Initiative”

  • DOE funded topics

  • USDA funded topics

    • Topic 5 – Harvesting and feedstock supply

    • Topic 6 – Environmental and economic sustainability

    • Topic 7 – Training materials development

  • Project funding from USDA-DOE program titled evaluation

  • “Biomass Research and Development Initiative”

  • Objectives

  • Synthesize scientific and technical knowledge

    • sustainably managing, harvesting, processing and

    • utilizing woody biomass

  • Produce a variety of information products

    • curricula, fact sheets, bulletins, videos

    • web-based hypertext encyclopedia of knowledge

    • web-based courses

  • Craft products into curricula, training events and programs

  • Target program delivery to forest managers and communities

  • Provide program evaluation of training curricula and materials

    • peer review

    • beta testing

    • user-audience evaluations and feedback

  • Six major training modules evaluation

  • Introduction to forest biomass use in the South

  • Darwin Foster & Chyrel Mayfield, Texas A&M

  • Silviculture treatments for enhanced biomass production

  • Darwin Foster & Chyrel Mayfield, Texas A&M

  • Harvesting and processing biomass

  • Ben Jackson & Daniel Cassidy, University of Georgia

  • Utilizing biomass for bioenergy, biofuels and biobased economy

  • Ben Jackson & Daniel Cassidy, University of Georgia

  • Socio-economic impacts and community development issues

  • Jian Gan & Chyrel Mayfield, Texas A&M

  • Developing environmentally sustainable production systems

  • Tat Smith & Chyrel Mayfield, Texas A&M

Proposed strong conceptual basis for modules evaluation

IEA Task 18 & 31 book –

Richardson, J., Björheden, R., Hakkila, P., Lowe, A.T. and

Smith, C.T. (eds.). 2002. Bioenergy from Sustainable Forestry:

Guiding Principles and Practice. Kluwer Academic Publishers,

Dordrecht, The Netherlands. 344 p.

  • Web-based hypertext encyclopedia of knowledge evaluation

  • to be developed in contribution to the

  • Forest Encyclopedia Network (FEN)

  • developed by Mike Rauscher and colleagues

  • 4 existing encyclopedias:

  • Southern Appalachian Ecosystems

  • Southern Fire Science

  • Southern Bioenergy Resource

  • South-wide Forest Science

  • more planned…

  • Core group of 12 editors and developers working since 2000

  • Bottom line – many participants, ongoing expansion, substantial

  • progress, efficient software infrastructure, and

  • welcome new participants

Proposed new design for the evaluation

Forest Encyclopedia Network

by Bryan Jordin

Draft web site for hypertext encyclopedia evaluation

by Michael Rauscher

Landownership patterns in east texas
Landownership Patterns in East Texas evaluation

















The Texas Forestry Extension Model evaluation

Forestry Extension Specialists

County Extension Agents

Extension Program Council

Texas Forest ServiceCoordinators


Science/ Research

Program Delivery

Extension Education Programs

  • Education and technology transfer challenges evaluation

  • related to demographics and forest ownership

  • patterns in the South

  • Mostly in hands of non-industrial private owners (NIPF)

  • Diverse education, socio-economic, ethnic backgrounds

  • Busy folks, with limited free time

  • Wide spread geographic locations

  • Increasing percentage of NIPF are absentee owners

  • Emphasizes need for new education and training methods

    • Train-the-trainer approaches

    • Southern forestry extension and state forestry agencies key

    • Web-based materials

    • Satellite download to many locations simultaneously

Thanks! evaluation