Cinda Jones: Argues biomass energy is a benefit to forests

Massachusetts environmental leaders have set an impossible goal of maintaining 50 percent of the Commonwealth’s land area as forests. The environmental and public benefits of sustaining actively growing managed forests are indisputable and overarching. But conservation objectives cannot be met by state and land trust acquisitions alone. In order to keep Massachusetts green, we must assure the economic sustainability of private forests.

Unlike more forested states, Massachusetts doesn’t have sufficient local forest products markets like sawmills or other secondary wood manufacturing operations such as glu-lam, biomass and pellet plants. As a result, most Massachusetts logs are being shipped to Maine and Canada and then back again to Massachusetts as lumber — with economic value realized elsewhere and with huge environmental transportation costs.

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