Skip to Main Content

The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Forests and dedicated energy crops
Year: 2010
Author(s): Cooley, M.
Source Title:
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 67
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Catchlight Energy LLC (CLE) was formed as a non-directed joint venture between Chevron Corporation and Weyerhaeuser Company in February 2008 for the purpose of commercializing the production of liquid transportation fuels from forest-based resources. CLE has a large, established feedstock development program that includes testing a variety of crops, cropping techniques, harvesting methods, and integration strategies for commercial-scale production. Another major focus of the feedstock program has been to clearly identify environmental issues that may be associated with the production of biofuel feedstocks. CLE has initiated large replicated field research trials in eastern North Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama. These studies are designed to evaluate impacts of biofuel feedstock production on wildlife populations, plant biodiversity, water quality, water quantity, soil carbon, nutrient cycling, and long-term site productivity. The studies investigate the effects of intensive removal of forest harvest residues and harvesting native understory, as well as production and annual harvest of switchgrass intercropped in loblolly pine plantations. Utilizing non‐food crops, such as forest residues, understory biomass, or a dedicated energy crop, such as switchgrass, provides a new opportunity for private landowners to generate a revenue stream throughout the maturation of their forest plantations, which is important since forests are long-term investments with an average rotation age greater than 25 years. Additionally, this can be achieved with no direct or indirect land-use change because the space between the rows of pine trees is being efficiently utilized resulting in no displacement of valuable agricultural land.
Publisher: Proceedings of the Seventh Eastern Native Grass Symposium. Knoxville, TN, October 5-8, 2010
Editor(s): C. Harper