U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Final Report JFSP Project 07-3-2-08


US government work.


The idea of offsetting the costs of wildfire hazardous fuels reduction treatments by selling the biomass removed is appealing. There are however challenges to biomass utilization that impedes progress. For instance, the lack of biomass processing capacity may impede progress in some regions, while in other regions an inconsistent supply of biomass available for wood products markets limits private investment. Despite efforts to increase biomass utilization, uncertainty exists of regarding the characteristics necessary to stimulate biomass utilization, effectiveness of agency and local efforts, and the role of partnerships in building the types of capacity necessary to expedite biomass removal. The purpose of this study is to identify and assess utilization challenges in different parts of the United States. The information collected through case studies is used to address persistent conventional wisdoms to biomass utilization that may help land managers better accomplish project objectives through informed planning and implementation. It may also be used to illuminate particular barriers to biomass utilization that can be addressed through policy development at the local, state, or national level. The specific project objectives were to: · Examine the local social and physical context in which biomass utilization strategies have developed in regions of the country with varied resources and wildfire risks; · Identify the types of utilization activities accomplished in each case, focusing on agency, industry, and community factors contributing to project accomplishment; · Characterize key challenges to biomass utilization experienced in each case and the strategies employed to overcome them and achieve local objectives; · Assess the roles of collaborative partnerships in facilitating hazardous fuel reduction planning, implementation, and capacity building for biomass utilization; and · Capture and share lessons about the approaches used to implement biomass removal