Forest Products Society's SmallWood conference in Flagstaff, Arizona, May 1-3 to focus on technical, economical solutions for woody biomass operations, including techniques for harvesting, processing, manufacturing, pretreating biomass

MADISON, Wisconsin , March 22, 2012 (press release) – The SmallWood 2012 conference being held May 1-3, 2012, in Flagstaff, Arizona, is about finding technical and economical solutions to the everyday challenges in your woody biomass operation.

Wildfires and bug-killed forests are generating enormous quantities of woody biomass from hazardous fuel reduction activities and from salvage operations. These issues are driving the need to create solutions for using low-value and waste wood.

“SmallWood 2012 will supply you with the information needed to adapt to changes and be successful in your business,” according to Susan LeVan-Green, U.S. Forest Service Program Manager and Conference Co-Chair.

The conference includes two days of presentations, an exhibition evening, and an optional day of field trips. On May 1-2, speakers will present the incentives of forest restoration; how to pre-treat woody biomass to reduce hauling costs; techniques for harvesting, processing, and manufacturing; new technologies and markets; and generating energy from woody biomass.

In addition, you will hear from successful business owners. For example, Jim Dooley (Forest Concepts) will explain how they are working to increase the value of forest-grown material that has been shredded or chipped. David Old will tell about his family business that produces high quality Douglas Fir flooring from salvaged forest fire timber. Sherry & Glen Barrow (SBS Wood Shavings) will speak about their animal bedding made from pine shavings and other creative products such as furniture and countertops, using wood processed from forest and watershed restoration projects.

At the interactive exhibit evening, you will also have the opportunity to network with these business owners and other presenters or showcase your new product or technology.

On May 3, three tours will be available: One focuses on how to incorporate fire- and beetle-killed timber in homebuilding and niche markets by going to a small bandmill operation that specializes in serving local markets, a home that incorporated fire-killed material, and a forest recently affected by fire. Another tour will visit a woody biomass energy plant that generates enough electricity to power 18,000–20,000 homes. This tour includes forestry equipment demonstrations and processing activities. The third tour will show how the Ecological Restoration Institute (ERI) at Northern Arizona University uses prescribed burning in conjunction with site-specific thinning treatments to restore forests.

“By focusing on our forest resources as well as the forest products industry, we all will begin to understand key interactions and how to build a true forest restoration for a new economy,” noted Co-Chair LeVan-Green.

SmallWood 2012 takes place May 1-3, 2012, at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona. For program agenda/ hotel information, see or call 608-231-1361.

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