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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 357

Foresters Tour BLM Forest Health Projects and Geothermal/Wood-Fired Power Plant

Members of the Society of American Foresters visited the Susanville area on Wednesday, Nov. 5, to learn about forest health and fire hazard reduction projects on BLM-managed public lands.  They also toured a biomass power plant. The field tour was part of the SAF annual convention being held in Reno.

The group of about 40 SAF members toured forest health improvement projects overlooking the Susan River Canyon and at the Hobo Camp day use area west of Susanville.  They learned how the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office is using stewardship contracting on projects to reduce wildfire dangers and improve the health of pine stands in the wildland urban interface. (text continues below)

Below, Eagle Lake Field Office Forester Don Dockery explains the stewardship contracting process to SAF members.  In the second photo, members got a look at  a "before" photo as they toured a project site.
Eagle Lake Field Office Forester Don Dockery explains the stewardship contracting process to SAF members.
 SAF members compare a posted "before" photo of a site, with the "after" site before them

The group later moved to the Honey Lake Power electrical generation plant near Wendel, in the high desert about 25 miles east of Susanville.

Below, Plant Manager Ralph Sanders, center, explains operations at the plant's fuel yard.    The main power plant and cooling towers are in the background.
SAF members wear yellow safety helmets as they ready to tour the power plant behind them

The 35-megawatt power plant uses hot water from a geothermal well to preheat water in its boilers.  The geothermal well is on a BLM lease.   The boilers are then fired by a wood chip burner, producing steam to turn a turbine generator. The power plant purchases wood chips from public land forestry projects and from private sources.

Later in the convention BLM Eagle Lake Field Manager Dayne Barron and Alturas Field Manager Tim Burke presented information on partnerships in northeast California's sage steppe.  Joining the BLM managers on the panel were representatives from the Modoc National Forest, Modoc County and the University of California Cooperative Extension.  The panelists discussed the Sage Steppe Ecosystem Restoration Strategy and the Buffalo-Skedaddle Sage Grouse Conservation Initiative.

- J. Fontana, 11/7/08

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 357

Last updated: 11-13-2008