Forest Biomass Harvesting in Maine: A “Special Needs” Harvest Operation?
There is much confusion and concern surrounding the potential impacts of supplying bioenergy and bioproducts facilities with raw material from the forests of Maine. We feel much of that confusion stems from use of the ambiguous term forest biomass. In most instances that material is destined for use as energy, so we feel communication between the public, academics, and industry representatives would improve by calling forest biomass of this nature what it really is: energy wood. In short, forest biomass harvesting is not a special needs harvest operation, rather it is simply another component to existing operations. Once the terms are clarified, it is easier to understand how principles of forest stewardship and forest operations can be used, with the aid of forest science research and policy development, to address concerns with market dynamics, soil productivity, water quality, and forest biodiversity.