NOTES FROM 26 JULY 2005 MEETING BIOMASS CONSERVATION PARTNERS At Bureau of Land Management Carson City Field Office 5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City NV (775) 885-6000 AGENDA ITEMS COVERED: I. Welcome and Introductions – John McLain From now on, the first order of business will be to schedule the next meeting. Next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, 20 September. Gary Lyon introduces himself to the group. He is executive producer for the TV program ―Nevada Science and Technology‖, a series that responds to a notable a lack of strategic info to the general public on technology issues in NV. He offers his program to the BCP as a forum for presenting biomass issues. The pilot episode will be a one hour program w/ half hour weekly programs following. Round table discussions will be an element of the programming. ―Biomass could be at least an hour program, I would think.‖ II. Strategic Plan for Biomass, Status – Mike Stoner, Editor Stoner, Pete Konesky, Jeneane Harter, Mike Vollmer, and Elwood Miller and others met to put goals on a timeline. The main goal is outreach: public information and education. Public reaction to the prison project highlights the need for better communication to the public. Nine activities are grouped along the timeline in three phases: 1- 1st year 2- Years 2-3 3- Beyond year 3 The strategic plan will expand the definition of biomass to include agricultural waste. The WGA solicitation requests collaboration between state departments of energy, forestry, and agriculture. Jeneane will compile results of meeting and put the product up on the NSOE website. The Committee member list needs to be updated. Stoner will coordinate with Weiss on this and on the dissemination of the strategic plan. Emphasizing the need for public information and education on Biomass Issues, a local newspaper reported on public resistance to plans to move a dairy to Amargosa Valley: The Ponderosa Dairy in Amargosa Valley wants to move about 2,000 to 3,000 head from a Pahrump location and consolidate operations in Amargosa bringing total head to about 10,000 or so. They are getting resistance from the surrounding community. It looks as though they are not paying enough attention to PR and education, re: digesters and other means to mitigate air and water pollution. Making the locally impacted public more aware of options for waste and biomass conversion is key in moving forward with biomass recovery/conversion projects. ―If we don‘t take a proactive approach, we will be … charcoal.‖—Pete K. III. Nevada Fire Safe Council Update – Mike Vollmer, Executive Director After one month in the position as Executive Director, his awe for Elwood grows every day. NV legislature granted NvFSC $1.8m over the next two years. Part for projects, part for operating costs. Mike is currently in fact-finding mode. Direction for the future is to move from crisis management to crisis prevention. The Council is staffed w/ 3 full-time and 2 part-time employees. The funding did not allow for an increase in staffing. They are exploring options for part-time coordinators in other parts of the state. The organization has grown from 20 to 31 councils so far this year; projected to grow to 40 by the end of the year. Central and N-NV are facing large fires this year. This leads to an increase in projects. IV. Lake Tahoe Summit in August – contributions from those present Summit is planned for Sunday 21 August in Tahoe City. Michael Walker is coordinating for Senator Feinstein. Raddon reports that Carl Hasty is trying to organize elements of the summit. Jerry Dion at TRPA may have additional info (firstname.lastname@example.org). A field trip on the Friday beforehand is being talked about. The objective would be to view currently active harvesting operations outside the basin that are currently not allowed in the basin. (Cable yarding, etc.) Steve Allrich from Oregon is a Forest Engineerwho designs cable yarding systems and is interested in the Basin. TRPA Executive Director John Singlaub seemed open to a pilot project with cable yarding. Upper Tyner will get a shaded fuel break and may use cable yarding. TRPA recently allowed vehicles in SEZs to allow more active management. Board of Supervisors is in agreement. Stoner requests that McLain and Vollmer to take point on clearing info for the summit. Vollmer will forward information to Weiss for distribution to BCP members. It is not known if the meeting is by invitation only. The three major topics of the summit will be the basin-wide Fire Plan, Water Quality, and the Regional Plan Update V. Other business and progress reports John McLain (RCI): USFS is publicizing a go-ahead for Ward Mountain. Steep Weiss (BLM): BLM is having a meeting tonight in Upper Colony on fuelbreak. Stan Raddon (CCRE): During the meetings with the city on the prison project, Elwood did a great job representing the advantages of cogeneration. PM-10 levels were anticipated to be 253 lbs per 24 hours. Attorneys for the appellants reported a scrubbing company from east coast that claimed to be able to reduce PM-10 levels by 90% (this was received with skepticism). Aldean and Williams were in favor of moving forward. Texiera and other were not: therefore the compromise for 50% reduction in emissions was reached. Engineers from APS have been crunching numbers and report that the project is still feasible and will persevere. Raddon passes around a clean biomass sample made from pallets and forest slash (<5% MC) from the separation system at the CCRE site. It has <1% silica content and is predicted to produce <1% ash. Material w/ silica content is composted to mulch (1 cy finished covers a 16X10 area). Does not blow away due to wood fibers as bark often does. Prices are about $19/yd=$76/ton. Also producing a soil amendment using an aeration process with 50% watermilfoil and woody material. He has received, delivered and free of charge, 500 tons of milfoil in last months from the Tahoe Keys Marina. CCRE is purchasing 20 or 40 rolloffs (60 yards/20‘ roloff=30yards) to aid in reaching the supply requirements for the prison project: 16,000 tons/year. He is currently receiving around 6,000 t/yr. Loyalton currently pays $36 bone dry ton. The penitentiary will pay $28.50/ton, and the fuel must be cleaner than what Loyalton accepts. A conveyors demonstration is anticipated with 4-5 conveyor units. John Lund, a manufacturer in Reno, has been brought on board. One unit will be built in Moundhouse. Configuration: built in 30‘ sections (cap 1,000 pounds, 10‖ wide) that self- builds into 50‘ connectable sections. Biomass will be conveyed into a chipper and blown into a van. TRPA board will receive this presentation at their board meeting on 27 July. As far as scheduling, USFS people like Dean Graham and USFS members from Georgia would like to be here. Tentatively scheduled for around 19 September. Pat Murphy (NvFSC): Board will be deciding which projects to fund and with what levels of funding. Chimney Rock and Cave Rock are the currently existing projects. Others from the basin will come on. Galena Forest has upcoming projects. Mt. Charleston will be generating slash in a close partnership w/ USFS. Raddon would be interested in bidding on that to get the biomass. Mike Dondero (NDF): Recently retired from USFS. Remains committed to BCP. NV has consumed over 1m acres of biomass in wildfires this year. Mike Stoner (NV Commission on Economic Development): Amargosa Valley Dairy Operations document (news item of public opposition) copied for distribution to interested parties (http://stephensmediagroup, ―Amargosa Valley Dairy Operations Under Fire, 15 July 05). In other places, digesters have been approved by rural energy grants. Matt Frolich: The bad smell from dairies may be the smell of money. Water is a limiting factor also in dairy. Salt content is too high for Stan‘s taste; in pelletized form Chuck will take it. Biomass combustion to generate power has a 200+ year history. An uninterrupted supply of biomass for the life of any plant must be guaranteed. Pete Konesky: Nevada finally received an application for a USDA 9006 grant for a wind turbine. This is the first application in three years. 5 August a Tri County meeting (WP, Nye, Lincoln) will look over water issues, the Draft RMP, and the USFS plan revision. This is an informational meeting, not a decision meeting. Western Electricity Coordinating Council holds a conference on Oct 11 in Salt Lake City: Vegetation issues and interference w/ transmission and distribution. East Coast blackout was caused in part by vegetation interference. Working on a couple of proposals: 1 for Land Grant colleges. UNR wants to look at outreach and implementation of AB236 funding. A discussion about eligibility and 1890/1876 land grant college distinctions ensued. The WGA 2005 Biomass solicitation is the other. Outreach will be the focus. A Washington wind-power delegation was greatly excited during a tour of Beatty minesite conversion. NV as the only state they work with that currently has no wind generated power. A NV military installation had a 80mW(?) wind generating facility approved; then project area ―went over the hill into an environmentally sensitive area, and the whole project got squashed.‖ McLain expressed the public‘s skepticism about wind generation (1mW/tower; 100m tall; 130 to top of blade) and the intermittent generation. Cogeneration could really help out a rural community such as Lincoln Co., who consumes 120 mW countywide. Need to develop a program for aerial spectrometry in the Tahoe Basin to get a better evaluation of biomass. UNR has received a grant from Washoe Co. DEP for waste oil conversion. Erick Walker (USFS): The N.Washoe Hazardous Fuels Reduction project plans to treat 2,250 acres within 5,000 acre area. The first 250 acres immediately because funding is there. These acres are in the interface w/ vegetation suitable for mastication treatment. A decision by the Forest Supervisor is pending; nevertheless, layout has begun. Timbered portion is roughly 10mmbf (million board feet) to treat strategically within those 5,000ac. 2,000 acres is hoped to be developed as a stewardship contract – goods for services. This is their first endeavor in Stewardship Contracting. Current volume estimates show 300ft2 of basal area. The target basal area is 60-100 ft2/acre. Timber prices are going up, this bodes well for the contracting portion. . There is also a small project (100ac) along Clear Creek Road. Jim Alexander is Fire Safe Council local coordinator. This fuels reduction will tie in with existing fuelbreak project. Looking towards a thinning scenario that would produce 4,000 yd3. This is an economic threshold for chip processors. Moving into planning phase for Clear Creek/Kings Canyon watershed strategy. Ending FY06. UNR Dept Resource Economics is presenting ―Energizing the Economy Through Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer‖ August 8-10, 2005. Contact Dr. Thomas R. Harris, UNR Dept of Resource Economics Mail stop 204 Reno NV email@example.com 775.784.1681 Although the EA for Waterfall Fire salvage was completed in record time, it went out to bid 3X: First as 1,050 ac., 90% helicopter logged (slopes, no roads – only historical ones) 3.5- 4mmbf from 12‖ and above dbh to 3-4‖ tops, min 30‘ log. No takers. Second: USFS shrunk the acreage b/c of prohibitive haul distances. Price was $15/ton (minimum market value) and minimum diameter was increased. Third: went to base base price at $3/ton. Three primary issues that hindered the sale: First, the proximity to fire season limited helicopter availability. Second: haul trucks had problems with NHP. Third, a company in Medford wanted to ship it by rail to Medford but UPRR couldn‘t guarantee timely shipping (could be on a siding for 30 days). Proximity to mills and lack of competition has made the endeavor difficult. They are looking at a fourth go ‗round at bids. If that doesn‘t go, tractor areas will be contracted. Some trees have been felled, they hope to haul them for personal/fuelwood consumption. Jason Perock (NDF): Jay Johnson (APS) sends his update: deadline for contract signing is Friday. They are optimistic about meeting the PM10 emissions by downscaling consumption to make prison self sufficient and eliminating plans for excess production for resale. APS is evaluating options for emissions control. If e.c. technology costs run too high, the PV component will be scrapped to free up funds. So far, the project has received a $250,000 federal grant and $80,000 from State funds. Public workshops helped with opinions at public meetings where the negative constituency often dominates. Appellates were present at the public workshops, where much negative opinion was turned back. Apparently a nucleus of 3-4 people could not be swayed. A NV Appeal poll asking ―Are you in favor or opposed?‖ returned 90% in favor. Apparently, citing examples w/ 20+ year histories in other places (Burlington, VT burning 300,000 tons/yr in residential areas; the fact that 35 similar facilities have been operating in VT, some for 3 decades) is not enough to convince NIMBYs. Hal Peterson at Spring Mountain Interpretive Center is looking to augment power w/ biomass. The Fuels for School program received the USFS Chief‘s ―External Technology Transfer Award‖. Matt McKinney (Bentley AgrowDynamics): Bentley uses biomass in composting as a carbon source. They have contracts w/ 3 municipalities to collect/receive biosolid sludge. Biodiesel: a 500,000 gal plant is scheduled to go online in Minden in September. The majority of production will go to Bentley operations; by end of year excess production will probably be available for sale to wholesalers. Their primary source is yellow grease (waste vegetable oil from restaurants) from a Reno, Carson, Tahoe, Bridgeport (Marine Base) collection area. Bentley does have 600 ac in canola production, but they can buy commodity yellow oil cheaper than producing virgin oil. Grease + Lye + Methanol produces Biodiesel, water, and glycerine. Bentley will have an open house approximately 1 month after full production. Las Vegas and Bakersfield are the nearest large biodiesel producers, purchasing commodity yellow grease. Selling canola cakes in meal state to feedlots. Will send meal to processor in CA to form into cake. 70% waste per ton canola. Bentley has large holding in Pine Nuts and is extremely concerned about the fuel hazards. Josh Lynn: Request for corrections to minutes from meeting participants. Chuck Weiss: Is converting the gasifier to a portable system. System will use NREL emissions testing as the standard. Waste heat from the 1,425-degree gasification process will be used to heat ―raised bed enclosures‖ in a demonstration project, location to be signed on Wed. They are partnering w/ UNR agriculture and engineering departments. The goal is to progress towards a unit that can be demonstrated at energy fairs, parks, and other areas with biomass to burn for biopower generation. 3 other technologies will added in a modular fashion to form a pristine education and certification center. The project will be on the ground and running by November. Can any of the 52- 500(?) funds be used to support this demo project? Karen Grillo: No comment. Skip Ritter (BLM): Has been occupied with BAER activities (emergency stabilization after wildfire). Washington would like agencies to use indigenous materials (wood chips instead of straw bales) in stabilization efforts post-fires. Water filters made of wood fiber have been working well. Tom Baker: August 31, Jason and Dave Atkins will present the Ely Schools for Fuels program. Sen. John Ensign will be present. On public relations lessons after the experience with public meetings and the penitentiary project. A better way to lobby something like this is not in a public meeting, but rather to meet with board members one-on-one. (Response from SR and JP: ―We did, we thought we had them‖) Also lobby the media, before the meeting, give them the FAQ list and references. A simple message to the press is essential in working with them. VI. Next meeting Next meeting set for 2:00 PM Tuesday, 20 September.
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