New Michigan Woody Biomass Harvesting Guide
Jul 31, 2013- Wise Heat
The State of Michigan has developed a document called "Michigan Woody Biomass Harvesting Guidance." It's an 18 page outline and guide that should help reduce environmental risks associated with energy harvests. The content was developed by a team of experts from industry, universities, non-government groups and key public agencies. It is available on the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website.
The Woody Biomass Harvesting Guidance is designed to be used in concert with the Sustainable Soil and Water Quality Practices on Forest Land manual (from the Michigan DNR), which describes practices for a range of resource protection. The guide is also compatible with forest certification requirements.
The guide advises biomass retention of a sixth to a third of the residues from timber harvest spread across the harvest site. If the site has little woody debris to begin with or if the site is particularly nutrient-poor, then leaving more biomass on the ground is recommended.
Biomass harvesting should be avoided in certain special conservation areas, unless the removal may enhance the management objectives. Leaf layers, stumps and roots should be left. Large woody pieces should be left. Some of the standing dead trees and cull trees should be retained, when possible.
The guide cites additional recommendations for several specific situations, such as riparian zones, storm-damaged sites, exotic species and others.
The Michigan Woody Biomass Harvesting Guidance is part of a package designed to help ensure the protection of forest resources. Other states, such as Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have similar guidelines.
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