Biomass Utilization

The October 2017 Redwood Complex Fire burned more than 36,000 acres in Mendocino County. MCRCD is working with landowners whose forest experienced high severity wildfire effects to replant native conifers in appropriate sites. This project will help accelerate the re-establishment of a conifer forest and help prevent stand type conversion to brush or hardwood stands. In addition, MCRCD has partnered with a private company to build and deploy biomass gasifiers to utilize sub-merchantable dead woody material. The goal of the gasifiers is to provide the community with a solution to actively utilize standing dead trees and that plague their properties. Creating energy and biochar from dead and dying trees demonstrates a new technology the Mendocino County residents and resource managers have been wanting to see for a long time. Residents are interested in using this technology and this project could be the catalyst to launch a biomass energy production program within Mendocino County, supporting both forest health and economic development goals. The project serves as a valuable demonstration of the benefits, feasibility, and challenges of biomass utilization technology.