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Principal Investigator(s):
  • Dennis R. Becker
    University of Idaho
  • Pamela J. Jakes
    US Forest Service, Northern Research Station
Completion Date: February 27, 2009

The proposed study includes two parts. The first part focuses on characterizing biomass removal efforts on USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and tribal lands for a total of 10-12 case studies located throughout the country. Information will be collected on project planning, implementation, operations, and efforts to build industry, community, and market capacity. To the extent that data is available, we will collect the following information on biomass removal activities initiated or completed during fiscal years 2001 to 2006, which will be aggregated into a comprehensive database to facilitate comparison across forest types and fire conditions: - Project Planning: number of NEPA-ready projects, staff resources, contracting authorities used, - Project Implementation: acres treated by fire condition class and proximity to the wildland-urban interface, type of biomass removal, cost of biomass removal activities, and sources of funding for planning, implementation, and operations - Project Operations: site operability, species composition and density, contractor availability, equipment required, transportation distances - Regional Industry Capacity: size, type and location of existing/previous wood products industry - Market Capacity: market availability, product feasibility, required technical expertise - Community Capacity: community partnerships present, history of collaboration, labor and workforce capacity, economic development planning, infrastructure availability. A synthesis of existing research will be used to verify information to be collected. Cases will represent a range of federal administrative units, different population densities, and size of the wildland-urban interface. They will also be selected to represent a range of community capacities, experiences with biomass removal, planning efforts, and the use of federal contracting authorities. Descriptive information gathered in Part I will be used in Part II to assess project actions leading to successful implementation of biomass removal projects. Project planners, contractors conducting the work, and relevant community partners will be asked to characterize key lessons learned from past projects and to identify barriers to further biomass removal and utilization. To the degree possible, we will compare these factors to illustrate overlapping challenges across forests and to highlight specific types of activities that might be applied in other regions of the country. For each case, our analysis of the effectiveness of local efforts will focus on the following questions: - What have the ecological, economic, and social impacts been of federal investments to remove woody biomass from hazardous fuels reduction projects? - Which factors contribute most to development of biomass enterprises, and are they sustainable? - What have been the unanticipated results of biomass removal and how have they affected progress? - What have the barriers to implementation of biomass removal projects been related to a) project planning, b) operations, c) industry capacity, d) market development, and e) community capacity? - Which strategies contribute most to overcoming key barriers? - To what extent have community partnerships contributed to project planning and building local industry capacity necessary to utilize fuel reduction byproducts? Results from this part of the study will be aggregated across cases to identify key themes for lessons learned. Perceptions of barriers and lessons learned will also be compared across types of participants to identify perspectives of project planners relative to that of contractors, and community partners.

Cataloging Information

Alaska    California    Eastern    Great Basin    Hawaii    Northern Rockies    Northwest    Rocky Mountain    Southern    Southwest    National
  • biomass removal
  • lessons learned
  • literature review
JFSP Project Number(s):
  • 07-3-2-08
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
Record Last Modified:
FRAMES Record Number: 15067