2-3-2015 CSU Forestry seminar

The Department of Forest & Rangeland Stewardship presents

Claire Griebenow
Research Associate
Colorado Forest Restoration Institute
Colorado State University

Colorado Forest Restoration Institute: Wildfire risk reduction monitoring








Tuesday, February 3rd
2:00-2:50 pm
Forestry Building, room 127

ABSTRACT: The Colorado Forest Restoration Institute has developed a statewide monitoring program to measure the effectiveness of fire hazard reduction treatments.  This approach has been implemented on non-federal lands throughout Colorado with the Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant program.  The main objective is to quantify the change in fuel hazard conditions pre- and post-treatment.  Preliminary results from some unique projects will be presented, as well as monitoring lessons learned.

All are welcome.

CSU seminar on forestry contractors & forest health

Hey CSU BANRians- another project-relevant Wednesday forestry seminar:

The Department of Forest & Rangeland Stewardship presents Damon VaughnGraduate Research Assistant, Forest & Rangeland Stewardship Department, Colorado State University

Wednesday, December 10, 12:00-12:50 PM, Forestry Building room 127

Characteristics of Colorado Forestry Contractors and Their Role in Current Forest Health Issues

This talk will present results from a survey of Colorado’s forest harvesting contractors and explore their capacity to address current forest health issues. Recent wildfires have received national attention and inspired large public expenditure into community wildfire mitigation projects. This in part has inspired forestry contractors in the state to shift away from traditional logging and toward service type projects such as forest thinning and defensible space. The contractor survey revealed a diminished workforce which has struggled to find identity following policy changes and economic events of the 21st century.

Hope to see you there!

Two seminars of interest @ CSU this Wed.

Hey CSU BANRians- there are two seminars this Wednesday that may be of interest:

  1. The Department of Forest & Rangeland Stewardship presents Jamie Dahl, Experiential Learning Coordinator at the Colorado State Forest Service

    Wednesday, December 3rd 12:00-12:50 PM, Forestry Building room 127

    Connections through research and teaching provide mutual benefits to Colorado State Forest Service and Colorado State University

    Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) outreach efforts are amplified by its strong relationship with Colorado State University (CSU) and the Warner College of Natural Resources (WCNR). The CSFS utilizes opportunities in both teaching and research to further develop and deliver accurate, clear, and consistent messaging. The CSFS and human dimensions researchers in WCNR have teamed up to explore knowledge transfer, in order to bridge the gap between scientists, practitioners and homeowners.  The take home message: knowledge transfer should focus less on delivering specific knowledge and more on developing and strengthening networks with community members, practitioners and scientists.

    Experiential learning is powerful teaching tool that the CSFS employs to help bridge the knowledge transfer gap. The CSFS coordinates various experiential learning programs, through which, students of all ages learn by doing. These hands-on, real world applications allow students and volunteers to experience forest stewardship, forest management and outreach through active participation. This investment in experiential learning not only benefits the students, but it also provides a strong link between the university and external partners, including agencies, industry, and other stakeholders. CSFS is involved in several experiential learning programs that benefit CSU students: the CSFS Volunteer Program, internships and seasonal positions, undergraduate and graduate research projects, student club targeted activities, and Tree Campus USA.

  2. The Bioenergy at CSU seminar series presents Dr. Karl Albrecht, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    Wednesday, December 3rd  11 am, Lory Student Center 304-306.

    Advanced Biofuel and Biochemical Production at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is developing enabling technologies for the conversion of biomass to liquid hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals via several pathways.  First, a brief overview of research currently underway at PNNL will be presented.  Topics will include bio-oil hydrotreating/upgrading; alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) processing; fungal biotechnology methods to produce chemical precursors; syngas conversion to chemicals and fuel intermediates; and the hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of terrestrial and aquatic biomass.  The majority of the presentation will focus on HTL processing.  HTL is a biomass liquefaction process similar to fast pyrolysis (FP) in that an organic biocrude phase is produced.  HTL and FP both capture about 50-65% of the biogenic carbon in the intermediate biocrude or bio-oil.  However, 60% of the carbon reports to the upgraded organic phase after hydrotreating compared to only about 35% of carbon after hydrotreating FP bio-oil.  Furthermore, HTL produces a more stable biocrude intermediate compared to FP bio-oil, allowing for single-stage hydrotreating with significantly lowered capital costs.  When applied to aquatic biomass, HTL is an extremely efficient lipid extraction process as both neutral and polar lipids are converted.  Additionally, the carbohydrates and proteins present in the algal biomass report to biocrude.  Capturing the non-lipid fractions of the algal biomass significantly improves the yields possible when utilizing HTL compared with traditional lipid extraction.  As with terrestrial feedstocks, hydroprocessing of aquatic biomass-derived biocrude is feasible in a single temperature hydrotreater with 95% of the C reporting to the upgraded organic phase.

Hope to see you there!

Mackes seminar on post-fire salvage in Colorado’s Black Forest – Oct. 29

BANR team member Kurt Mackes will be presenting a seminar this Wednesday, October 29 that may be of interest:

The Department of Forest & Rangeland Stewardship


Kurt Mackes

Senior Research Scientist, Colorado State Forest Service &

Associate Professor, Forest & Rangeland Stewardship Department

Colorado State University

Locating a Portable Sawmill in the Black Forest to Process Fire-Killed Timber

Wednesday, October 29th

12:00-12:50 PM

Forestry Building, room 127

ABSTRACT: The Black Forest fire burned 14,280 acres (out of 81,664 acres in the Black Forest) during June 2013. Private landowners in the burn area continue to struggle with the high cost of removing timber killed by the fire. Locating a portable sawmill in the Black Forest has been proposed to help cover the cost of removing burnt timber by utilizing it to make lumber and other value added wood products. Included in this presentation will be a discussion of the fire, the costs associated with it and current mitigation efforts. An estimate of timber volume and potential value in the burn area, along with utilization options and market development potential for lumber processed from burnt timber will also be considered. Challenges that must be overcome to locate the mill in the Black Forest will be addressed.


All are welcome.

How will you celebrate National Bioenergy Day on Oct. 22?


Next Wednesday, October 22 is the 2nd annual National Bioenergy Day!  Check out this website to learn more about learning and outreach events happening around the country:



A few highlights:

Colorado – USDA Forest Service Region 2 will be hosting a free event on small-to-district-scale heating from forest biomass at their Golden headquarters from 10am-2pm.  “A Conversation on Conversion” will feature speakers introducing biomass heating projects from all around the state, focusing o:

  • the benefits of using forest biomass to provide heat
  • how and why forest biomass was is currently used in some long-standing, successful regional examples to lower heating costs while improving forest health at the same time
  • what resources are (and will be) available to assist you with your own conversions

Download the agenda here, and note that while the event is free and open to the public, an RSVP is required.

Montana – National Bioenergy Day falls during Montana Forest Products Week, so check out the state Department of Natural Resources website to learn more about celebrations and activities occurring all week across the state:  http://dnrc.mt.gov/forestry/assistance/biomass/forprodweek/default.asp

On the web – Our NIFA CAP colleagues at the Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest project will be hosting a webinar at 10am Pacific time entitled Biofuels Policies: Why a Clean Fuels Standard and Other Government Policies Are Important to Bringing the Advanced Biofuels Industry to Scale in the Northwesthttp://hardwoodbiofuels.org/event/biofuelpolicies/

Note that pre-registration is required.


NREL beetle-kill biofuel seminar @ CSU

Colorado State folks- note that BANR and the Sustainable Bioenergy Development Center (SBDC) are co-hosting Dr. Kristiina Iisa of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on Wednesday, October 8 from 2-3 in Lory Student Center room 386.  Dr. Iisa’s talk is titled “Production of Transportation Fuels from Mountain Pine Beetle-Killed Trees via Fast Pyrolysis” – see the abstract below or download as a pdf here.  Hope you can join us!


CPES gets $91M USDA loan guarantee for LA plant


Last Friday, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was in Louisiana to announce a $91 million loan guarantee to our BANR industrial partner, Cool Planet Energy Systems, in support of their facility currently under construction in Alexandria, LA.  The facility is expected to be completed in 2015 and reach full production the following year, generating up to 10 million gallons of drop-in ‘reformate’ fuel annually from pine chips sourced from local forestry operations.  In addition, the facility will produce large quantities of char that can be upgraded to CoolTerra soil amendment, and will add at least 150 jobs to the local economy.  The loan was made under the Biorefinery Assistance Program established in the 2008 Farm Bill, which has previous supported facilities from ZeaChem, Coskata, Solazyme, and others.

This is going to provide a new market opportunity for pine chips and other renewable forest material, which will help the forestry industry in the state…

USDA’s support for renewable energy projects like this helps create jobs in rural areas, promotes U.S. energy independence, and leads to further expansion of the growing and increasingly significant bioeconomy – all while reducing carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases.

-Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

Congratulations to Cool Planet on all their hard work and success!

To learn more, see:


Oct. 2 Stakeholder Event in Moscow, ID

As part of this year’s BANR annual meeting in Moscow, ID we’ll be hosting a Stakeholder Outreach Session at 4pm on Thursday, Oct. 2 in the Palouse Room of the Best Western University Inn.  All are welcome to join us to learn more about the BANR project, and forest health and bioenergy issues in the Mountain West!  Details below (or download the flyer here).


Cool Planet’s CoolTerra product profiled in The Guardian


There’s a new article out in The Guardian that profiles Cool Planet Energy Systems and their CoolTerra biochar product:

CoolTerra was the first biochar product certified by the International Biochar Initiative (IBI), and has seen various applications in high-value crop production in California:

Napa Valley grower Eckhard Kaesekamp is very pleased with a certain group of around 20,000 grapevines he has been nurturing. Their yield has been 5% better than what he’d expected. Their root mass is greater than his other vines as well – which means they’ll hold water better. In drought-hit California, that’s gold…

Bill Camarillo, chief executive of California-based soil company Agromin, is also convinced. In four years of researching biochar, he says, he hasn’t found anyone else who “has invested time, energy, and money to use technology that can enhance biochar, no matter who makes it”.

The article also emphasizes the value of CoolTerra to the academic research community, where the wide heterogeneity of biochars produced from different manufacturers or by hand has been a great challenge for standardizing experimental work and generalizing research results.