Perception to inception: Assessing Contractor Capacity to Utilize Woody Biomass for Energy Production in the Southern Willamette Valley, Oregon
MetadataShow full item record
Global warming, peak oil, and severe wildfires are leading government officials, community members, conservation organizations, timber industry officials, and other stakeholders to explore sustainable long-term solutions to create healthy and vibrant communities. The use of woody biomass provides a solution because of its ability to not only reduce the effects of these events, but also meet economic development, renewable energy, and ecological objectives. Timber companies are important to making the woody biomass industry successful because they are a key link between accessing and delivering the supply and meeting consumer demand. Though they stand to benefit economically, there are challenges they face before fully committing to utilizing woody biomass. This study had two objectives to better understand the opportunities and challenges the timber industry faces in the southern Willamette Valley. The first was to understand the capacity of firms either engaged in or with the potential to engage in woody biomass collecting, processing, and transportation. The second was to determine the willingness and interest of firms to participate in biomass utilization and what barriers prevent them from engaging in or supporting woody biomass utilization. As part of the study, we interviewed key individuals involved in the collection, transportation, or utilization of timber in the southern Willamette Valley. The results of the study provide an understanding of the competition for the regionâ s existing supply of woody biomass and the perceived challenges and limitations of increasing woody biomass opportunities for energy production. Findings suggest that the timber industry is interested in pursuing woody biomass for energy production if they can make a profit and have access to a new source of woody biomass.