The U.S. Department of Agriculture starting a program that pays people to deliver dead trees to power plants that can convert them to biomass fuel. Large swaths of Wyoming’s forests have been killed by pine beetle infestations and some say they pose a fire danger. Todd Atkinson with the Farm Service Agency says he hopes money will give people the incentive to harvest from more remote areas.
“Well, in areas where there is a significant threat of forest fire on public lands, there’s an opportunity to participate in this program and receive an incentive to retrieve materials that could either be diseased or infested or a threat for forest fire.”
The program also takes farm waste like corn stalks and wheat straw. The USDA is also selecting power plants that are able to convert the biomass to energy. They will be announced in mid-July.