Public, private entities from schools and hospitals to prisons increasingly using wood for heat and energy, finds 'Issues in the Forest' report

GREENVILLE, South Carolina , September 28, 2012 (press release) – Schools and other public and private buildings located in forest-­‐rich portions of the country are increasingly finding that an old source of fuel is just the right thing for today and tomorrow. “This installment of “Issues in the Forest” -­‐-­‐-­‐A Look Back at Fuels for Schools and Beyond -­‐-­‐ provides an update on a program that got its start in a Vermont school struggling to pay its annual heating bill,” says U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) president Carlton Owen. “Cheap natural gas ha been the go-­‐to fuel in recent times for many parts of the nation, however, if you are in areas where fuel oil or propane is the standard, modern wood-­‐to-­‐energy systems are showing that they offer many benefits.”

Dave Atkins, USDA Forest Service (USFS) Woody Biomass Utilization Program Manager, has been among the unabashed advocates for conversions as they yield not only annual savings but provide a host of other benefits as well. Among those benefits is job creation in rural communities, keeping precious energy dollars within a local community, and providing markets for low-­‐value wood that helps enhance forest health. “There’s no end to where this can go,” says Atkins.

The “Issues in the Forest” series is intended to inform public dialogue on sustainable forestry and markets as one part of a broader collaborative venture of the USFS and the Endowment.

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The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) is a not-­‐for-­‐profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-­‐reliant communities--www.usendowment.org

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