June 1, 2009

NACD's Woody Biomass Desk Guide and Toolkit

It seems like every bioenergy and conservation conference I go to drives toward the same conclusion... "What we need is education, education, education." Of course, determining which messages should be communicated is key - which is why the credibility of the authors is paramount. Who is writing the content and what is their motivation?

Whenever I come across material that I think is credible and approachable from a lay audience's perspective, I upload links to them through this Bioenergy BlogRing. Some of the guides I have written about in the past include:
• 25x'25 - Agriculture and Forestry in a Reduced Carbon Economy
• USDA Forest Service - Woody Biomass Utilization Desk Guide
• Southern Forest Research Partnership, Inc. - Sustainable Forestry for Bioenergy and Bio-based Products Training Curriculum Notebook
• California Forest Foundation - Protecting Communities and Saving Forests

Fred Deneke of 25x'25 just sent me a treasure trove of information about Woody Biomass amassed by the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD).

Conservation Districts were born out of necessity in the 1930s Dust Bowl when America's topsoil rapidly eroded. They are local units of government established under state law to carry out natural resource management programs at the local level.

NACD is the nonprofit organization that represents America’s 3,000 conservation districts and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. It was founded in 1946 on the philosophy that conservation decisions should be made at the local level with technical and funding assistance from federal, state and local governments and the private sector.

The association's programs and activities aim to advance the resource conservation cause of local districts and the millions of cooperating landowners and land managers they serve.

The desk guide is intended to be used for public outreach in support of biomass industry planning and development. It includes educational content, handouts, introductory Powerpoint presentations, case studies, FAQs, and a glossary of terms.

Here is how the authors describe the guide...

Woody Biomass Desk Guide and Toolkit

Communities today are challenged to develop effective strategies that support forest ecosystem health, mitigate the effects of climate change, satisfy growing energy needs, and provide local economic opportunities. For some communities, woody biomass may be a viable option for meeting these needs and deserves serious consideration. Forests in the United States represent an important potential energy and biobased product resource.

NACD, in collaboration with federal, state, and local partners is working to raise awareness about the potential for woody biomass as a primary feedstock for such products.

This Woody Biomass Desk Guide and Toolkit provides an overview of woody biomass production and utilization in the U.S., tips of how to provide effective outreach for your clientele, and educational handouts to share with your audiences. The purpose of this guide is to equip natural resource professionals and outreach specialists with the information and tools needed to increase awareness of the use of woody biomass for energy in the U.S.

Desk Guide and Toolkit Chapter Topics

Introduction and Table of Contents (1MB PDF)
Chapter 1 - Setting the Stage (836KB PDF)
Chapter 2 - What is Biomass? (2.5MB PDF)
Chapter 3 - Products and Possibilities (1.7MB PDF)
Chapter 4 - Implications of Producing and Using Woody Biomass (1.5MB PDF)
Chapter 5 - Incentives to Produce and Use Woody Biomass (1.3MB PDF)
Chapter 6 - Do-It-Yourself Supply Curve: Tools to Help You Get Involved in an Entrepreneurial Biomass Project (13.8MB PDF)
Chapter 7 - Outreach and Education (492KB PDF)
Chapter 8 - Case Studies (2.15MB PDF)

In addition to the reference sections, most of the chapters also contain handouts. These outline important points, strategies, and information that may be useful for landowners, the public, local leaders, or other audiences.
Handout 1 - Electricity Production: Comparing Wood and Fossil Fuel Feedstocks (2MB PDF)
Handout 2 - Woody Biomass Basics (2.25MB PDF)
Handout 3 - Agricultural Biomass (1.5MB PDF)
Handout 4 - Implications of Using Woody Biomass for Energy and Other Products (1.15MB PDF)
Handout 5 - State and Local Policies and Incentives to Produce and Use Woody Biomass (1.5MB PDF)
Handout 6 - Financing a Bioenergy Project (1.15MB PDF)
Handout 7 - Common Concerns (1.15MB PDF)

NACD has two more Desk Guides in the works that will be out shortly. One will be on Community Wildfire Planning (Pre, During, & Post) and the third on Woody Disaster Debris Disposal.

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