Oregon's Forest Biomass Working Group has released a draft strategy for developing the state's forest biomass industry.

The strategy, which is open for public comment through Sept. 30, focuses on market development and actions need to grow the industry.

The strategy recommends four market development initiatives, including:

* Promote the use of biomass for heating and cooling in thermal systems.

* Promote biomass for generating heat and electricity at existing wood products facilities.

* Expand opportunities for biomass byproducts, such as landscape bark, shavings, bedding and other commercial products.

* Commercialize use of biomass in cellulosic ethanol, biochar and other developing markets.

More than 40 stakeholders representing forestland managers, conservation interests, industry representatives and government entities helped develop the strategy.

The strategy is available for review online at the Oregon Department of Energy website.

Information: 503-378-6043.

--Mitch Lies

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