Crews to inventory state's woody biomass resources
This summer, the Nebraska Forest Service will be taking inventory on woody biomass resources across the state. These on-ground inventories will be used to verify biomass resource estimates created from aerial imagery.
Inventories will be conducted at randomly selected locations in 48 counties. Plot locations fall on land that is classified as forested or land with trees.
Before inventories begin, NFS will contact landowners to get permission to access plots that fall on private property. The exact location of each inventory plot will not be made public to protect landowner privacy. There will be no manipulation of vegetation on the plots.
According to Adam Smith, NFS forest project coordinator, this program will increase understanding of the potential for woody biomass utilization in Nebraska.
"This inventory project will allow the Nebraska Forest Service to estimate local woody biomass potential and interact with landowners regarding forest utilization," Smith said.
Survey crews will record tree species and number, stem diameter, height, forest stand density and seedling/sapling count. Larger trees will also be measured to estimate current biomass, while information about small seedlings and saplings will be used to estimate future biomass growth.
Nebraska-grown wood is an underutilized, plentiful, economic energy resource that can stimulate and revitalize our rural economies. Woody biomass is a proven, reliable energy source for heating and cooling, as well as industrial applications, electricity generation and ethanol production.
Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis recently converted to a woody biomass boiler system to heat 200,000 square feet of campus buildings. The system uses approximately 1,500 tons of woodchips annually. This conversion has the potential to save NCTA about $51,000 in annual energy costs. Carbon emissions will be reduced by 558 tons per year. There is potential for several similar systems across Nebraska.