The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

March 25, 2013

Country forestry banquet set for Tuesday

BY JOHN H. WALKER
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER

TARBORO — Persons with an interest in the timber industry will gather Tuesday at the East Carolina Agriculture and Education Center for the annual Edgecombe County Forestry Banquet.

The meal portion of the event will get under way at 6:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 7:15

Clay Altizer, Utilization Forester for the North Carolina Forest Service, and Edward Sontag, director of fiber sourcing for Envira LP, will deliver the main presentations.

As recently as the third quarter of 2011, the forest products sector in North Carolina included 2,299 manufacturing facilities and provided 67,613 jobs and an annual payroll of $2.7 billion.

The overall economic benefit to the state was estimated at $23.8 billion with a total related work force of 178,498.

Sontag will talk about the future of palletized woody biomass.

Enviva is one of the largest manufacturers of processed biomass fuel in the form of 100 percent wood pellets in the United States and Europe.

Enviva operates a pellet facility in Ashokie capable of producing 350,000 metric tons of wood pellet annually and is scheduled to bring a 500,000 metric ton plant online in Northampton at mid-year.

Woody biomass is made up of the trees and woody plants, including limbs, tops, needles, leaves, and other woody parts, grown in a forest, woodland, or rangeland environment, that are the by-products of forest management.

The National Energy Policy Act, signed into law on August 8, 2005, recognized the importance of a diverse portfolio of domestic energy. The policy outlined 13 recommendations designed to increase America’s use of renewable and alternative energy. One of these recommendations directed the Secretaries of the Interior and Energy to re-evaluate access limitations to federal lands in order to increase renewable energy production, such as biomass, wind, geothermal, and solar.

On June 18, 2003, The Departments of Energy, Interior, and Agriculture announced an initiative to encourage the use of woody biomass from forest and rangeland restoration and hazardous fuels treatment projects. The three Departments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Policy Principles for Woody Biomass Utilization for Restoration and Fuel Treatment on Forests, Woodlands, and Rangelands, supporting woody biomass utilization as a recommended option to use to reduce hazardous fuels rather than burning or employing other on-site disposal methods.

In North Carolina, North Carolina General Statutes 105-277.2 through 105-277.7 provide an incentive for farmers and foresters to keep agricultural and forested land in those uses through property tax deferments as part of the use value program.

In order to qualify for forestry use, there must be at least 20 acres of forested land, and you must present to the tax assessor a Forestry Mangagement Plan, showing the forested land is under a sound management program.

For more information, contact Bob Filbrun at 641-7815.