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Woody Biomass Energy: An Opportunity for Silviculture on Nonindustrial Private Forestlands in New York

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Data collected from recently harvested even-aged New York nonindustrial private forestlands are used to examine some of the challenges and opportunities associated with expanding woody biomass markets in the context of timber management. Assessments of existing harvesting practices on sampled stands indicate that diameter limit and premature cutting are pervasive. Increases in the demand for woody biomass may exacerbate this exploitive harvesting. However, expanding woody bioenergy markets also might help increase the use of silviculture on these forests by providing much needed small-diameter and low-grade markets. Silvicultural simulations indicate that 6.75 oven-dried tons per acre of woody biomass could have been removed, while simultaneously harvesting a sustainable volume of high-quality sawtimber, leaving an appreciable amount of larger and higher-quality stock for future growth, refraining from premature cutting, and regenerating mature forests.

Keywords: biomass; nonindustrial private forestland (NIPF); renewable energy; silviculture

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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