Letter: Protect the biomass market

Published: 5/5/2017 12:00:54 AM
Protect the biomass market

I have been a licensed forester in New Hampshire for about 12 years. I am writing regarding my deep concern over the future of the independent biomass power plants here in New Hampshire.

Our company hires logging contractors to harvest timber and low-grade wood from properties owned by our clients throughout the central and southern part of the state. Many of these timber harvests provide fuel chips to these power plants. Without this outlet for low-grade wood, these contractors may have to downsize significantly and possibly go out of business permanently. This in turn would severely affect our business and how we practice long-term sustainable forestry here in New Hampshire.

These power plants provide low-grade wood markets that enable land managers (foresters, wildlife biologists) to weed and thin our forest to promote the growth of healthier trees and create or enhance habitat for wildlife.

These markets also offer an economic incentive for landowners to continue owning their forested properties, which much of the public enjoys for recreational purposes, such as hiking, hunting and snowmobiling. Remember 80 percent of the forest land in New Hampshire is under private ownership.

The House Science, Technology and Energy Committee is currently considering a bill (Senate Bill 129) that will decide the future of New Hampshire’s biomass industry. Because these power plants are crucial to the forestry work I do on many of my client’s properties, I’m asking the committee to please support SB 129.

MICHAEL POWERS

Henniker




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