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Integrative assessment of bioenergy sources

Research Achievements

Integrative assessment of bioenergy sources

An integrative assessment of bioenergy sources on the Yakama Reservation was performed. The students and tribal collaborators evaluated the interactions of a planned biomass-fueled power facility with reservation employment, air quality, forest restoration and invasive species removal. Data from remote sensing and field work were used to develop forest, agriculture, and invasive species biomass inventories. These data were coupled to a transportation logistics and cost model to assess the scale of facility and level of tribal employment that was feasible. Air pollution was improved by avoiding the open burning of residues, and the facility subsidized woody invasive removal since the residues were purchased. Coordinated planning with adjacent land owners would provide ecological and economic benefits, but fragmented ownership patterns are a challenge for bioenergy development in the West.