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Slash removal and microbial communities

Monitoring equipment at the NARA long-term soil productivity site.
Monitoring equipment at the NARA long-term soil productivity site.

A key issue attached to the use of post-harvest forest residuals (slash) to make biojet fuel and other chemical products is how slash removal impacts the productivity and ecology of a working forest. The USDA-NIFA, through the NARA project, funds research to evaluate the impacts of …more

Harvesting forest residuals: environmental impacts and sustainability

Processing forest residuas
Processing forest residuas

Typically when trees are harvested for lumber and pulp, the limbs and branches (commonly termed “forest residuals”) are left on the forest floor or collected in slash piles and burned. If these forest residuals were used instead to produce products such as biojet fuel, what effect would that have on our environment and how can we manage the …more

Bioenergy Alliance Network of the Rockies (BANR)

beetle kill






On November 6th 2013, the US Department of Agriculture awarded nearly $10 million to fund research to develop renewable fuel and biochar production using insect-killed trees in the Rocky Mountain region as a sustainable feedstock. The award was provided to the Bioenergy Alliance of the Rockies (BANR): a consortium of academic, industry and government organizations led by Colorado State University.

BANR’s website can …more

Variations of forest residual biomass



Thinning and harvesting forests in the Pacific Northwest generate lots of residual woody biomass. Currently, much of that biomass is left in slash piles while a small percentage is used to heat buildings or generate electricity. By law, those slash piles left unused are burned to reduce forest fire hazard. This process contributes to smoke and air pollution. NARA is helping to develop an industry that converts this …more