Run Forrest Run!, is a phrase that evokes to the 1994 film “Forrest Gump”, which was awarded for best film, screenplay and actor at the Oscars that year. Nonetheless, Dr. Padmaperuma, author of this note,  uses it to refer to forests and their management.

Forests are huge ecosystems with large trees, which allow the development of different habitats and, in turn, offer services such as water flows, soil protection, biomass, and more.

In the United States, forests cover about the 33% of its territory, which are been affected by increasingly devastating wildfires. Forest restoration efforts have been made through selective timber harvest and prescribed burning but are often stymied by air quality standards and limited budgets.

That is why the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service are developing a planning and decision method that used a combination of vegetation data, models, and analytic techniques with the goal to understand how fire restoration can impact water flow needed to assure fish health while also evaluating the economics for biomass that can be used for energy sources such as wood pellets for heating or converted to biofuels to power cars, trucks, and airplanes.

In the mountainous area of ​​Washington, where they have focused their study, they have found that 1.4 million tons of biomass could be recovered economically from this area, representing a total of up to almost 395,000 tons of wood chips.

The team also investigated changes in smoke emissions that affect air quality and health, and they are planning to continue  doing research about simulations in vegetation growth to better estimate long-term, sustainable biomass supply and changes in streamflow associated with fish habitats.

To learn more about this project, visit the original source at: