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If a Tree Falls in the Forest…Should We Use It to Generate Electricity?

Author(s): Meredith Fowlie
Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
University of California, Berkeley
Date: September 27, 2016 at 11:30 AM

California is experiencing what has been dubbed the worst epidemic of tree mortality in the state’s modern history, with the death of an estimated 66 million trees since 2010. There seems to be widespread – but not unanimous – agreement that leaving close to 40 million dry tons of wood in the forest will increase wildfire risk to unacceptable levels. A tree-mortality task force is working to safely remove the dying trees by using the tree services where some of which can be harvested for timber. But given the current trajectory, lots of wood will be burned on-site. This begs… [more]

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