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Participation of Kentucky Woodland Owners in the Woody Biomass Market
Department of Forestry
Concerns about anthropogenic climate change, energy independence and rural development are driving policies toward expanding the use of woody biomass as a source or renewable energy. Since most forestland in Kentucky is privately owned the participation of woodland owners in supplying biomass is critical for the development of a biomass industry in the state.
Through utilizing a combination of economic analysis, focus groups studies and conjoint analysis surveys this project will provide crucial information concerning the willingness of woodland owners to participate in a biomass market and how this willingness is influenced by policies and incentives aimed at promoting the environmental sustainability and economic viability of the industry. It is anticipated that this information will be useful in designing effective policies and incentive programs to promote a sustainable woody biomass production in Kentucky.
2010 Project Description
Data on stumpage values of the economically important species for sawtimber and pulpwood covering the last five years was obtained for Kentucky. Also Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) data on available timber volume for different regions of Kentucky was compiled. The data are necessary for the economic analysis of the financial returns to family forestland owners from participating in a woody biofuel market.
Preliminary work to set up focus groups with family forestland owners (and other other stakeholders) from various regions of the state have begun. A graduate student who will do the focus groups and economic analysis has been recruited and is beginning work of these components of the project.
As the project is just beginning, outcomes and impacts are limited. Results from the focus groups and economic analysis are expected to be obtained within a year. After these results are obtained work on the conjoint analysis survey will begin.