Next Tuesday (May 1) is the Smallwood Conference in Flagstaff, Arizona. I’m not only attending, but am moderating a panel at this excellent 2-day event. It’s still not too late to register, so don’t hesitate to join us in Arizona if you at all have the opportunity.
What’s the focus of the conference? With all the fuels reductions projects, and fire and bug-kill salvage operations going on these days, the conference will explore in-depth the many opportunities available for the forest product industry to exploit woody biomass and low-value, waste wood. In short, the conference’s aim is two-fold: help us build better forest product companies and better forests.
Here is just a small sample of the awesome slate of topics we’ll be discussing at the conference:
- The New Future Economy for Forest Restoration
- Processing and Products from Bug-Killed & Fire-Killed Timber
- Biochar Opportunities
- Pyrolysis 101
- Use of Local Wood in Structures & Meeting Code Requirements
- Animal Bedding and Other Cool Products from Forest Health Activities
- Innovative Systems for Unique Forestlands & Treatments
- Challenges for the Forest Restoration Workforce
- Wood Pellets: Picking The Right Market: Domestic or Export
- Mega-Markets for the Southwest’s Small Wood: Where They Are and How to Serve
- Right Sizing Facilities to Match Forest Restoration Needs
The specific panel I’m moderating is titled “High Temperature processing and opportunities” and has an excellent lineup of topics and panel members consisting of:
- Co-Firing with Coal: Terry Mielke, Project Manager, Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado Springs, CO
- Biomass for Thermal Energy – Examples: Jennifer Hedrick, Executive Director, Pellet Fuels Institute, Arlington, VA
- Biomass for Electrical Energy – Examples: Bill Carlson, Prinicpal of Carlson Small Power Consultants, Redding, CA
- Biorefining – Examples: Mike Wolcott, Director, Institute for Sustainable Design, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Speaking of Mike Wolcott, he is the Principal Director for the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA), the USDA’s $40 million effort to create a sustainable aviation biofuels industry from woody biomass. Attending the conference will offer an excellent opportunity to network with Mike and get a better feel for the details and current status of this exciting effort.
We’ve certainly got an impressive lineup of speakers and attendees so far. The conference not only offers a powerful learning experience, but the connections you can make in beautiful Flagstaff next week will be second to none. These sound like some solid business/networking reasons for you to get to this conference, so I hope to see you there! By the way, I’ll be posting a live update from the conference next week so stay tuned.