P.O. Box 254 | Bristol, VT 05443 | tel. (802) 453-7728 fax. (802) 453-7729
visit us: http://www.familyforests.org
Research and Demonstration Projects
COMMUNITY WOOD ENERGY
What is the Community-Supported Forestry™ Firewood Program?
Modeled after the highly successful Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement, this program will connect customers who care about forest health and want to act upon that concern by using firewood from landowners who are practicing exemplary forest management, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council through Vermont Family Forests.
Peak oil and rising fossil fuel prices are here. Across the country
and across Vermont, people are increasingly interested in alternative
sources of energy, including wood for home heating. (See the Vermont
Family Forests Spring 2006 newsletter lead story for more background).
Firewood Survey Results - Fall 2006
Thanks to all of you who completed our on-line survey. We had 217 respondents! All survey respondents were entered into a drawing, the winner of which received a two-hour on-site forest consultation with David Brynn, Vermont Family Forests' forester and executive director. Congratulations to Peg Rood of Lincoln, Vermont, who won that drawing.
An energetic team of Middlebury College students conducted the survey for us and developed a report of their findings. You can their report here. You'll find the results of the survey on pages 45-59 of that report.
Community members worked collaboratively to identify opportunities and issues. Everyone agreed that we are heading back to the forest for more of our energy needs. The question is not if but how? Additionally, there was general agreement that we need to do a much better job of showing how a sustainable community wood energy program supports other community values including education, economics, ecology, recreation, and aesthetics.
Demonstration projects at a private family-owned forest in Lincoln using Vermont Family Forests' Forest Management Checklist, Scandanavian low-impact harvesting equipment, and creative sorting/marketing strategies will soon be underway. Click here to see a gallery of photos from Caitlin's research. CWEP Meeting Summary
There are lots of folks who think that wood is a magic solution to our energy needs. (See the Wood Energy Comic) However, VFF has been suggesting that we need to proceed carefully. We prepared a powerpoint on the subject entitled "Global Warming. Peak Oil. Local Warming. Peak Wood?" The wood energy that we remove from the forest for our energy needs is no longer available to the forest for its needs. Forests use the energy from composting wood to repair degrade hydrology, to increase biodiversity, to enrich and stabilize soils, and to sequester carbon. We are promoting: Sustainable production; Efficient use; Local sourcing; and Fair and equitable access (S.E.L.F.) Thoughts on Community Wood Energy
We are pleased to see this thinking reflected in the vision and principles statement in the Northern Forest Biomass Energy Initiative (see the action plan) as well as the new Community Wood Energy Program of the Farm Bill! Also check out the article entitled Biomass Energy in Vermont: How much promise does it hold? VNRC: Vermont Environmental Report, Summer 2007 Vermont Natural Resources Council.
VFF is expanding our loan library and has the following books available:
The Harrowsmith County Life Guide to Wood Heat by Dirk Thomas
The Woodburner's Companion: Practical Ways of Heating with Wood by Dirk Thomas
The New Woodburner's Handbook by Stephen Bushway
The Book of Masonry Stoves: Rediscovering an Old Way of Warming by David Lyle
Also, check out these links:
VFF's work on the Commmunity Wood Energy Project is made possible in part by a generous grant from the Vermont Community Foundation.