Biomass, Bioenergy, and Climate

Hand holding wood chipsThe idea of offsetting the cost of wildfire fuel reduction treatments by selling the biomass removed is appealing. Biomass utilization also offers hopes of restoring forests to a healthy ecological state, providing critical employment and economics benefits to rural communities, and is increasingly seen as a viable option for greenhouse gas mitigation strategies and renewable energy generation. But for all the possibilities, uncertainty exists regarding the factors necessary to stimulate utilization. How much biomass is available? Are landowners willing to participate in new energy markets? What is the role of federal, state, and local initiatives in stimulating utilization?

State Biomass Policy Database (.pdf)

Joint Fire Science Program in Biomass

Recent Presentations and Initiatives

For recent results, see:


Systems Analyses of Policy Instruments systems analysis of policy instruments diagram

Policy instruments, which are the tools used by governmental authorities to achieve certain outcomes, are critical to natural resource management. However, the appropriate mix of instruments ranging from regulations to tax credits and technical assistance programs are difficult to create. Uncertainty exists regarding the optimal mix of policies to achieve sustainable outcomes and the synergies created and unintended consequences of their interaction. This research takes a systems approach to policy evaluation in which theoretical aspects of policy design and implementation are investigated in the context of forest planning, bioenergy development, ecosystem services, and carbon markets.

For recent results, see:


Carbon Analysis

Carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas mitigation is increasingly an important topic for forest policy. This research examines the impact of different carbon mitigation policy strategies including forestation, bioenergy development, and forest land management activities.

Recent Presentations and Initiatives

For recent results, see: