FLA Members Lend their Support to Biomass Facility
September 1, 2010
On August 23, 2010, several FLA members, including Georgia Board Member Colin Myerson and Florida Board Member Guerry Doolittle, joined FLA members Bryan Olmert, Virgil Allison, and Chris Demers, among others, to voice their support for a proposed renewable energy facility in Gainesville, Florida. The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC) was the focus of the August 23 hearing as part of the facilities permitting process and included a public testimony portion. The GREC has received widespread community support. However, as with other renewable energy projects around the country that include wood, this facility has drawn some opposition for its plans to utilize woody biomass as its renewable energy source. The main argument behind the opposition is the question of air quality in the community and fears of negative impacts on the surrounding forests.
Myerson correctly pointed out that markets for wood and wood waste were the incentive that private forest landowners in the area need to ensure the sustainability of timber and the overall success of private forest management in the United States. The GREC facility has the potential to provide a much needed market in this heavily forested region of the country. FLA greatly appreciates the grassroots support from its members to help this market become a reality.