"We need to address the demand AND the supply." / [Biochar] [usbiochar] New Research Article on Forest C Sequestration vs. Bioenergy #bioenergy #sequestration

Kelpie Wilson

Thanks Frank for sharing your story. The history of human relationship to forests is long and complex. Generally the forests lose, and in the end, we will lose as well. I think Tasmania has lost even more of its forest than Oregon. I remember sitting in jail in a small timber town on the Oregon coast back in 1987, and reading a National Geographic article about the massive citizen protests against the Franklin Dam in Tasmania that would destroy a huge amount of primary forest. We were in jail because we had chained ourselves to a yarder on an old growth logging site in the Siskiyou National Forest where the liquidation of primary forest was accelerating. We were eventually successful: after another 15 years of direct action protests, lawsuits and lobbying, we stopped the logging of old growth and roadless area forests on public lands. However, the private industrial forest lands are still being clearcut and subjected to short rotation forestry, with terrible consequences for soils and streams. Many of my colleagues in forest protection have moved on, like me, to advocate for ecological forestry on the managed lands. There are many benefits to be had, including timber, clean water, biochar and some biomass energy. There are still some environmentalists who are so distrustful that they don't want any logging. That is not realistic. There are still some in the timber industry who want to expand industrial forestry across the landscape and think that you can raise trees like a corn crop. That is not realistic either. Heck, you can't even raise corn like a conventional crop without damage to soil and water!  We need to change the way we do things or we are toast. The UN has warned that soils around the world are heading for exhaustion and depletion, with an estimated 60 harvests left before they are too barren to feed the planet. The Amazon rainforest is at risk of turning from carbon sink to a carbon source within 15 years. We cannot let that happen, so protecting forests is still the highest priority, in my view. Jeff Waldon has pointed out that there are opportunities in the US Southeast to convert degraded pasture land to pine plantations. Great idea. Those are the opportunities we need to look for. And the first, highest and best use of biochar IMHO, is to use it in tree planting to give those new forests a kickstart.

Frank Strie

Thank you Kelpie and Kim for the discussion points made and question asked,
Kelpie made very credible points that I support and that require further exploration in the “glocal” context from the very site specific (micro scale) to the local and global relationship, the social, environmental and commercial sense.

For the last 30 years I am a signed up member of the ANW in Germany / ProSilva Europe, even so I live with my family here on the Island Tasmania, under Down Under for already 32 years.
What is the ANW and ProSilva all about?

“The Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Naturgemässe Waldwirtschaft (ANW) (German: Working Group for the Close to Nature Forestry) was established in Germany in 1950. ... Another term often used to describe a close to nature approach to forest management, especially in Britain and Ireland, is Continuous Cover Forestry.
ANW-Deutschland is an independent association of forestry people, forest owners, ... ANW-Deutschland's objective is to promote a close-to-nature forest management and a holistic view of forests as ...”

Annual Meeting 2019 | Pro Silva

www.prosilva.org › activities › annual-meetings › annual-meeting-2019


Sep 14, 2019 - Radlje is the cradle of close-to-nature forest management and its nearby forest of the Pahernik foundation is one of the best examples of this approach, being ...

Exemplary Forests Network | Pro Silva

www.prosilva.org › information-news › news › exemplary-forests-net...


Sep 25, 2019 -  Integrated forest management for resilience and ...


Nature-based Forestry: The Pro Silva Movement in Europe

Sep 22, 2015   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP9XEF6ULjg


When I publicly suggested & recommended (in early 1994 ) here in Tasmania, that the future of intergenerationally  responsible forest ecosystem - and catchment (watershed) management was with such site specific ecoforestry approaches, I was belittled, viciously attacked (even with a Swastika flag caricature in a environmental newsletter in 1995) and dismissed by the clearfell logging industry here in Tasmania and around Australia. …
During my 10 years+  time as President of ‘Timber Workers for Forest Inc.’ and  one of the initial 6 founding directors in 2006 to 2009 of “Responsible Forest Management Australia Limited” trading as FSC / Forest Stewardship Australia, the monoculture Plantation Companies in close cooperation with the 2 and 3 ENGOs Environmental Groups in FSC again lobbied for
Out of the Forests” pro Plantations…  A no win no solution situation, so I just let them slip. The proof of the debacle can be seen via Google Earth!
Anyhow, having intensively worked on Biochar since 2007, I see the Pyrogenic Carbon potentials integrated in restorative landscape management.
Time will tell
The original home base of Australian Wilderness Adventures -
Trek Tours Australia

https://www.trektasmania.com.au , Tarkine Trails

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Kelpie Wilson
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2020 10:38 AM
To: usbiochar@groups.io
Cc: biochar@groups.io; Vaughn Ken <ken.vaughn@...>; Sarnecki Ann <asarnecki@...>; Waggoner Kyle <Kyle.Waggoner@...>; Ribley Carille <carillegr@...>; Adams Jerry <jadams@...>; Archuleta Jim <jgarchuleta@...>; Dumroese Debbie <ddumroese@...>; King Matt Nick <matt@...>; Machado Steven <stephen.machado@...>; McCollum Dan <dmccollum@...>; Miles Tom <tmiles@...>; Betts Gary <garyleebetts4329@...>; Rone Regina <chinle65@...>; Blakelock Virginia <gbetts@...>; Petrocine Kyle <kyle@...>; Chaffee George <kim.chaffee2@...>; Dalla Rose Karl <kdallarosa@...>
Subject: Re: [Biochar] [usbiochar] New Research Article on Forest C Sequestration vs. Bioenergy


Hi Kim,


To me this looks like delusional pipe dreams from economists. First of all, there will never be a meaningful carbon tax. Second of all, Searchinger* is right, biomass energy is not even carbon neutral because 1. it takes energy to remove and process biomass and 2.biomass energy encourages shorter rotations than even timber production. Mark Harmon et al** have shown that shorter rotations permanently and severely reduce the carbon storage ability of forests. They also degrade forest soils and decimate biological diversity. 


We need to focus on using less energy overall. There will always be some opportunities for biomass energy as we harvest forests for other purposes, but to allow biomass energy to be the driver of forest management sets up a horrendous incentive that no carbon tax will ever control. 


The only exception to this is if we were to establish plantations such as willow coppice on degraded land that is currently not storing much carbon. That could result in net carbon benefits overall. Otherwise, biomass energy needs to be restricted to wastes and residues of other processes that were just going to burn up or rot. This assumption was the basis for the 2010 Woolf-Amonette paper on the technical potential of biochar


Until we reach a steady state economy without growth (I know that is heresy) we will never have a prayer of solving the climate problem or any other environmental problems. A big push to develop biomass energy would not do a thing to reduce fossil fuel energy because humans seem to have an endless appetite for more of everything. We need to address the demand, not the supply.





On Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 2:20 PM Kim Chaffee <kim.chaffee2@...> wrote:



I just came across this new article from Science Advances on the environmental tradeoffs between bioenergy and allowing forests to remain undisturbed.  I’ve only read the abstract, but the authors claim that “increased bioenergy demand increases forest carbon stocks, thanks to afforestation activities and more intensive management relative to the no-bioenergy case.”  I wonder if this will settle the debate about the climate consequences of bioenergy.  Your thoughts? 


Kim Chaffee






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