Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Just in

USDA Improves Forest Health by Harvesting Biomass for Energy

2014 Farm Bill Program Generates Renewable Energy, Helps Reduce Forest Fire Threats
WASHINGTON– Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that more than
200,000 tons of biomass were removed from federal lands through the Biomass
 Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). BCAP, reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill,
provided incentives for the removal of dead or diseased trees from National Forests
 and Bureau of Land Management lands for renewable energy, while reducing the
risk of forest fire. This summer, 19 energy facilities in 10 states participated
in the program.
"This initiative helps to retrieve forest residues that are a fire risk, but otherwise
 are costly to remove," said Vilsack. "In just three months, working with private
partners across the country, the program helped to reduced fire, disease and
 insect threats while providing more biomass feedstock for advanced energy
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency administered
the program earlier this year. Eligible farmers, ranchers or foresters participating
in BCAP received a payment to partially offset the cost of harvesting and delivering forest residues to a qualified energy facility.

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