In honor of the second annual National Bioenergy Day, the Chippewa National Forest invites the public to tour the new energy-efficient Walker Ranger Station Oct. 22.
District staff and bioenergy industry experts will provide short presentations about the bioenergy wood pellet boiler at the new office, and discuss biomass sources, pellet fuels and industry trends. The event runs from 9 to 11 a.m. with visitors invited to tour the building from 9-9:30, followed by presentations by representatives from Marth Wood Shavings, WoodMaster and U.S. Forest Service engineers from 10 to 10:30 a.m.
Walker’s new district office is LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and includes pellet fuel heat source.
“Bioenergy contributes a great deal to our local economy and helps keep forests and the forest industry around here more resilient,” said District Ranger Sherry Fountain. “We employ local residents and generate clean energy from materials that would otherwise be discarded. We want to give people an opportunity to see what we do firsthand at the new Walker office and learn more about bioenergy. This is a chance for people to ask questions to folks working in the biomass industry.”
Bioenergy refers to an industry whose companies produce electricity and heat generated from wood and other organic materials. In 2013, approximately 23 percent of all renewable energy consumed was from wood (EIA, 2013) — more than wind and solar combined and second only to hydroelectric energy.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has continued to support bioenergy’s role in protecting the health of forests on federal lands, saying, “Renewable wood energy is part of the Obama Administration’s ‘all of the above’ energy strategy. The Forest Service works with its partners to support the development of wood energy projects that promote sound forest management, expand regional economies and create new rural jobs.”
National Bioenergy Day sponsors include Biomass Power Association, U.S. Forest Service, Plum Creek, Pellet Fuels Institute, U.S. Industrial Pellet Association, Biomass Thermal Energy Council and Biomass Magazine. To learn more, visit www.bioenergyday.org. For more information on BioEnergy Day on the Chippewa National Forest, call the Walker Ranger Station at (218) 547-1044.
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