For Immediate Release Contact: Steve Bertjens, 608-723-6377 x 136, email@example.com
February 26th, 2009 Brett Hulsey, 608-334-4994, Brett@BetterEnviro.Com
Conservationists, UW Extension, Foresters to Hold Biomass Briefing on March 6th
Free Meeting Will Highlight Southwest Wisconsin, the Saudi Arabia of Biomass
Richland Center–With Governor Doyle’s recent announcement of a new biomass boiler at the UW Madison
Charter Street Power Plant to use 250,000 tons of biomass annually, southern Wisconsin has become a
prime target for biomass production. Two other proposed plants will use a combined 800,000 tons of
biomass per year in Cassville, WI and just across the border in Carroll County, Illinois. Southwest Badger
Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council, Inc. is holding a biomass briefing on March 6,
2009 in Richland Center.
“Southwest Wisconsin is the Saudi Arabia of biomass such as wood, switchgrass, and corn stover. The
challenge is harvesting it sustainably,” said Steve Bertjens, NRCS Coordinator for Southwest Badger
RC&D Council. The briefing will provide interim reports on 3 current SW Badger projects– the Biomass
Inventory and Analysis Project, Switchgrass Establishment and Harvesting Demonstrations, and the True
Costs of Harvesting Woody Biomass in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin.
The SW Badger Biomass Briefing is free to the public and will be held at the Ramada White House,
1450 Veterans Drive, Richland Center, WI from 1-3:30 p.m. on Friday March 6th.
Brett Hulsey, president of Better Environmental Solutions, said, “This Biomass Briefing will answer
questions like, â€˜Where will a million tons of biomass per year come from?’ and â€˜Is biomass production and
use a sustainable renewable energy source?’.” Hulsey will also be presenting yield data collected from
warm season fields currently enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
University of Wisconsin Extension Weed Specialist Mark Renz will present the first year results from the
“Switchgrass Establishment and Harvesting Demonstrations.” This project is working to quantify
achievable yields and develop best practices for growing switchgrass. Last spring the Council established
62 acres of warm season grass plantings on six farms using a variety of establishment treatments on each
farm. Renz and his research students are collecting field data on the demonstrations like establishment
success, yield per treatment, above and below ground production, carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas
Southwest Badger Biomass Foresters Patrick Dayton and Aaron Wright will present data from the “True
Costs of Harvesting Woody Biomass in the Driftless Area” project. The project began in October, 2007 to
quantify the amount of underutilized woody material from Timber Stand Improvement (TSI) activities and
the actual costs of harvesting this woody material on the rough terrain of southwest Wisconsin. The council
currently has 760 acres of demonstrations set up on 21 different properties.
The Southwest Badger RC&D Council is a non-profit organization covering nine counties in southwest
Wisconsin that focuses on improving natural resources while enhancing the rural economy.