Report outlines opportunities to establish co-located biomass facility and sawmill to aid in Tahoe Basin fuels management and restoration efforts
TAHOE CITY, Calif. – Committed to helping increase the pace and scale of forest restoration in the Tahoe Basin, the Tahoe Fund has released a new resource study it commissioned from TSS Consultants in partnership with Sierra Valley Enterprises. Titled the “Biomass Fuel and Log Supply Availability and Cost Assessment for a Biomass Power Facility and Sawmill Collocated at Loyalton, California,” the report outlines the available forest biomass and log supply within 75 miles of Loyalton, California, including the Tahoe Basin. Currently, the Loyalton site hosts a non-operating 18MW biomass power facility. The report shows a more than adequate supply of resources for a collocated facility that can play an important role in the restoration of Tahoe’s forest.
Excessive dead and dying trees
“Our board has made forest health a top priority, which is why we commissioned this resource study. We believe that identifying opportunities to aid in fuels management and restoration efforts is critical in helping to resolve the problem,” said Jim Boyd, Tahoe Fund board member. “A major issue facing land managers is finding uses for the excessive dead and dying trees and forest overgrowth. Far too many burn piles exist today, representing a continuing threat to our forests. Some of this can be alleviated by identifying use for these materials that is both environmentally and economically beneficial.”
Catastrophic wildfires continue to explode in frequency and intensity throughout California and Nevada. This trend, and the magnitude of these disasters unfortunately do not show signs of slowing. The Sierra Nevada forest is home to more than 100 million dead trees, and in the Tahoe Basin, tree mortality has exploded to over 160,000 trees over the past few years. To help address this issue, including the hundreds of thousands of burn piles sitting in the Basin, the Tahoe Fund is evaluating and investing in projects that can aid in improving forest health.
“Smartest Forest Fund”
The Resource Study project was supported through the Tahoe Fund’s “Smartest Forest Fund”, which uses philanthropy to help drive innovation and provide seed funding to support new ideas and pilot projects designed to significantly increase the pace and scale of forest restoration. These projects support the great work already underway by the U.S. Forest Service, California Tahoe Conservancy and Nevada’s Division of Forestry.
“We are thankful to the Tahoe Fund for commissioning this study that shows the viability and benefits of collocating a biomass and sawmill facility at our property in Loyalton,” said Sierra Valley Enterprises owner, Jeff Holland.