Introducing myself - Kentucky

A forum for new members to introduce themselves to the other members of ENTS. New users and guests can ask questions about ENTS and the ENTS BBS here.

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

Post Reply
User avatar
Tom Kimmerer
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:41 am

Introducing myself - Kentucky

Post by Tom Kimmerer » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:51 am

Hello! I am a forest scientists (PhD in tree physiology and biochemistry) living in Kentucky. Formerly a forestry professor (teaching dendrology), I now make my living as a renewable energy consultant. I tell my friends that I used to study trees, now I just burn them! I am doing this work because I believe that a market for sustainably produce low-grade wood is the key to improving forest management, especially in hardwood forests.

User avatar
Matt Markworth
Posts: 1311
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:41 pm

Re: Introducing myself - Kentucky

Post by Matt Markworth » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:51 pm

Welcome aboard! This is definitely the place to be to talk trees.

I have great respect for the field of Dendrology and the hardwood forests of KY are the perfect place for that expertise. I work in Northern Kentucky and there are plenty of places I'd like to get out and measure.

-Matt

Joe

Re: Introducing myself - Kentucky

Post by Joe » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:24 am

Tom Kimmerer wrote:Hello! I am a forest scientists (PhD in tree physiology and biochemistry) living in Kentucky. Formerly a forestry professor (teaching dendrology), I now make my living as a renewable energy consultant. I tell my friends that I used to study trees, now I just burn them! I am doing this work because I believe that a market for sustainably produce low-grade wood is the key to improving forest management, especially in hardwood forests.
Tom, do you include in that potential market for low grade wood- biomass for electricty and thermal? Are there any such biomass facilities in KY?

Joe

User avatar
Tom Kimmerer
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:41 am

Re: Introducing myself - Kentucky

Post by Tom Kimmerer » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:09 pm

Joe - Yes, most of my projects are biomass for electricity and thermal, although I expect the emphasis to move toward liquid fuels. I just completed the conversion of a coal-fired steam boiler in Louisville, KY to waste wood. The plant runs on 100,000 green tons of wood a year and provides process and heating steam to three chemical plants. The source of the wood is primarily urban, including street and yard trees, parks, and distribution-line clearance. Some wood also comes from primary sawmills. We are not only consuming a carbon-neutral fuel, but diverting wood from the landfills (where it makes methane).

This is my 12th biomass project, but my first to go to completion in Kentucky. I am now working on other biomass projects in Kentucky. There is an immense amount of waste wood, and we can have a significant positive impact on forest health by creating markets for low-grade wood.

As you know, Kentucky is a coal state, and there have been considerable headwinds against biomass projects, but as the coal industry declines, the biomass industry appears to be gaining steam.

Joe

Re: Introducing myself - Kentucky

Post by Joe » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:39 am

Tom, as you may know, we in Mass. had a war over biomass-- when some biomass plants were going to be built, opposition arose- then the state hired the Manomet Institute which produced the infamous Manomet Report, which proclaimed the world that burning wood is NOT carbon neutral- hence, the state killed off biomass- at least it decided it won't offer RECs, without which the biomass industry won't happen. At first, though I've been a forester for 40 years, I was skeptical of biomass, listening real hard to the opposition- but after I saw the nice work being done by biomass harvesters, I changed my mind. I still appreicate Manomet's suggestion that burning wood is not carbon neutral, at least in the short term- but the silvicultre that can be done when the logger WANTS to cut all the "junk" wood- is really amazing. In Mass., like much of the country, we've had the problem of no market for low value wood- further north, there was a pulp market, but that's dying off. We do have a single small biomass power plant in north central Mass. built 20 years ago.

The state instead is now pushing solar and wind- but it's being wrong-- most of the solar is solar "farms" which are hideous, but I won't get into that at this time.
Joe

User avatar
dbhguru
Posts: 4590
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: Introducing myself - Kentucky

Post by dbhguru » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:47 am

Tom,

Welcome to NTS. We are always very pleased to have professionals such as yourself join the ranks. We have people of every background on board and take pride in our inclusiveness. I'm particularly pleased that my friend Joe Zorzin has someone with experience to talk to about biomass, although as I'm sure you recognize that we're basically into non-economic tree interests. That said, there are plenty of foresters, forest ecologists, arborists, etc.who are members. We look forward to your participation. Again, welcome aboard.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

User avatar
Tom Kimmerer
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:41 am

Re: Introducing myself - Kentucky

Post by Tom Kimmerer » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:48 pm

Thanks, Bob and Joe. Joe, this is outside the scope of this site, but I will just quickly say that 1) the Manomet study was deeply flawed (I did a detailed analysis for a client); and 2) Biomass harvesting, by placing a price on low-grade logs, could be the best thing to happen to forest health here in Kentucky. Right now, you can't sell a log smaller than about 14", and with rare exceptions, all the logging in this region is high-grading. I hope that we can use biomass harvests to greatly improve forest management.

Joe

Re: Introducing myself - Kentucky

Post by Joe » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:49 am

Tom Kimmerer wrote:Thanks, Bob and Joe. Joe, this is outside the scope of this site, but I will just quickly say that 1) the Manomet study was deeply flawed (I did a detailed analysis for a client); and 2) Biomass harvesting, by placing a price on low-grade logs, could be the best thing to happen to forest health here in Kentucky. Right now, you can't sell a log smaller than about 14", and with rare exceptions, all the logging in this region is high-grading. I hope that we can use biomass harvests to greatly improve forest management.
Tom, I agree that the Manomet Report was deeply flawed- unfortunately, here in Mass. it has become fundamentalist scripture for the state and the major enviro groups- and the forestry people have just given up the fight, with a few exceptions. I would be interested in seeing your comments on Manomet- either in this forum, or sent direct to me.

I'm not surprised to hear that most logging in KY is high grading- I've been ranting against high grading for decades, yet when I've tried to discuss with many forestry leaders in the state- and, years ago, in the SAF list serve, they pretty much denied the problem or tried to cover it up as the profession's "dirty laundry".

As for being outside the scope of this site- don't worry, there are countless threads here not directly related to old growth and specimen trees, the main themes- almost anything to do with forestry, wildlife and many sciences are discussed here when somebody thinks it may be a worthy offering to the group.
Joe

User avatar
Matt Markworth
Posts: 1311
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:41 pm

Re: Introducing myself - Kentucky

Post by Matt Markworth » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:30 pm

Tom,

I'm looking forward to the presentation tomorrow night!

Here is the link for anyone else that is local and can attend on short notice: http://www.venerabletrees.org/presentat ... sbyterian/

Matt

Post Reply

Return to “Post Here First - Introduce Yourself”