State DNR biomass report says slash extraction won't hurt forests
Response from Peter Goldman
Dear Commissioner Goldmark and DNR staff:
It is disappointing to many of us on the conservation side who have been working collaboratively on the biomass rulemaking task force to see this kind of statement right in the beginning of the Peninsula Daily News story about the release of the UW biomass study:
" A state Department of Natural Resources study has concluded that 3 million tons of bone-dry wood slash and other wood waste - double the existing amount that's extracted - can be removed from Washington forests for biomass fuel production without harming forest health."
And Brian Flint went on to say:
The report proved that doubling the slash and wood waste collected will still leave enough biomass for wildlife habitat and forest regeneration, Flint said.
In fact, the UW study did not examine the environmental impacts of forest biomass removal and, further, the study made multiple unsupported assumptions about retention levels and forest areas where biomass should not be collected. The study also made a conclusion, that approximately 33% of all forest biomass left on site after a logging operation, that needs verification and contravenes literature relative to biomass removal on flat, easily accessible sites.
May I please ask you and staff to clarify, at every opportunity you have, that DNR commits to ensuring that a precautionary regulatory framework will be developed and adopted to protect state resources, particularly before there is a doubling of forest biomass removal. Our task force is working diligently on that question and it seems like the cart is being put before the horse here.
Washington Forest Law Center