The Need for Hazardous Fuels Reduction

Hazardous fuels reduction projects have been proven as a means of restoring fire adapted ecosystems and lessening risk of catastrophic fire. What is Hazardous Fuel Reduction?

With wildfires dramatically increasing in frequency and size, the world is experiencing a wildfire crisis. After a century of fire suppression, an estimated 60 million acres of federal forest land in the U.S. are overly dense with trees  and are now at risk for unnaturally severe fires. A catastrophic wildfire indiscriminately consumes everything in its path, including most of the wood energy contained in the forest. These unnaturally severe wildfires have wide ranging impacts beyond loss of habitat, life and property.

  • Carbon Emissions – Smoke from wildfires sends millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

  • Harmful Emissions – Smoke from both wildfire and prescribed burns are full of pollutants and particulate which are harmful to people and wildlife.

  • Fire Fighting Costs – Budgets for firefighting are being stretched, leaving fewer dollars for fire prevention.

  • Water Sources – Wildfires can severely damage watersheds serving large metropolitan areas miles away.

  • Economic – Smoke hanging in the air for weeks affects the economic health of communities that depend on tourists interested in outdoor activities.

Forest Restoration

Forest restoration operations such as thinning  and removal of small diameter trees are taking place in many parts of the United States to reduce the hazardous fuel in unnaturally dense forests. After thinning operations, huge piles of forest residue remains. If left to rot, these forest slash piles, composed of tree tops, small branches with bark, and even small diameter trees, will produce methane and supply fuel for wildfires. With little to no commercial value, the biomass is usually disposed of in burn piles at the thinning site, sending smoke and particulate into the air.

HM3 Energy’s technology uses forest residue from forest restoration and management operations as feedstock for its processes. HM3 Energy puts the energy contained in the forest waste wood to good use, by turning it into biocoal, or drop-in coal replacement fuel.

  • Fire Resiliency – Restored forests are more resilient to catastrophic wildland fires, conserving biodiversity and protecting watersheds and old growth.

  • Better Carbon Storage – Research shows that restored forests absorb more carbon even though trees are removed during restoration efforts.

More on Forest Restoration, Wildfires and Hazardous Fuels Reduction

Wildfires are a natural and necessary part of many ecosystems. However, years of fire suppression, combined with warmer, drier climates, have resulted in a dramatic increase in unnaturally severe wildfires. Learn more about how wildfires start, why they have increased so much in number and intensity, and what is being done about it below.

4FRIForest Restoration
The Kaibab, Coconino, Apache-Sitgreaves and Tonto national forests in the southwestern U.S. are working together on very large-scale forest restoration. “Appropriately -scaled businesses will likely play a key role in the effort by harvesting, processing, and selling wood products.”
4FRI
Carbon StorageEnvironmental Society of America
Numerous studies have been conducted on the long-range benefits of forest restoration. Recently Lisa A McCauley (a spatial analyst at the Nature Conservancy) and others concluded that quick restoration of forests means less fuel for wildfires and more storage for carbon in the long run.
ESA Journal Abstract
Forest Restoration The Nature Conservancy
Today, approximately 60 million acres of federal forest land is at risk for unnaturally severe fires. The Nature Conservancy is working with government agencies, the forest products industry, tribal governments and non-governmental organizations to restore forests for people, water and wildlife.
Restoring America’s Forests
Climate Change/FireNational Geographic
National Geographic explains why California and much of the western U.S. is experiencing such large fires. Fifteen of the twenty largest fires in California history have occurred since 2000. The state’s hottest and driest years have occurred during the last two decades as well.
See how a warmer world primed large fires
CFLRPSustainable Northwest
The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized the science-based Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) through fiscal year 2023. Sustainable Northwest works in the Pacific Northwest and its mission is to “bring people, ideas, and innovation together so nature, local economies, and rural communities can thrive.” See how restoration projects can be done involving a collaborative approach.
Sustainable Northwest
Active WildfiresNational Interagency Fire Center
See how many active fires there are in the U.S. Want to know how many wildfires took place in the US over the last decade and how many acres were affected? This is the place.
Fire Information

Torrefaction

Torrefaction (roasting at a high temperature in an oxygen free environment) has been used to roast coffee beans for over a century.

Biocoal

So called “biocoal” is not coal at all. Made from woody biomass, it is a clean coal replacement fuel.

Who We Are

HM3 Energy has spent 10 years perfecting an energy efficient torrefaction process that uses forest waste to produce biocoal.

What’s New?

Recent news regarding forests, green energy, biocoal and much more.

2nd Generation Biomass Energy

With recent technological advances, biocoal is poised to become the biomass energy of choice. HM3 Energy is now licensing its environmentally friendly, commercially viable biocoal technology.

 

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