Washington, DC (September 8, 2007)- U.S. Forest Service Chief, Abigail Kimbell, has proposed using national forests to fight global warming in two ways: using wood waste as a biofuel and planting more trees to absorb CO2. The Forest Service estimates that U.S. forests, which include both public and private lands, offset about 10 percent of the nation’s carbon emissions. Kimbell suggested doubling that amount by 2020.
By supporting the development of markets for carbon offsets, the Forest Service hopes to create an income stream to support forest management, forest conservation, and tree planting to double the amount of carbon sequestered in the nation’s forest lands.
Additionally, the Forest Service chief advised using small-diameter trees and underbrush as sources of biofuels. Kimbell said, “With the technologies now becoming available, we could replace as much as 15 percent of our current gasoline consumption with ethanol from wood – and not just any wood, but wood that is not now being used for other purposes.”
One goal of the Bush administration’s “Healthy Forests” initiative is to clear away underbrush and low diameter timber that fuels forest fires. Finding markets to support this activity has been a challenge, leaving many forest lands untreated. Converting wood to energy would create revenue to support forest restoration, according to the Forest Service.
Chief Abigail Kimbell’s speech