The RFFI Biochar Demonstration project, under the direction of Project Manager Judy Harwood, is gaining momentum. RFFI has received a $250,000 grant from the North Coast Regional Water Management Plan (NCIRWMP) to purchase and operate a portable unit that will convert woody biomass to biochar. The plant will be placed in the Usal Redwood Forest, and, once operational, RFFI will begin forest thinning operations to improve forest health and provide feedstock for the biochar conversion unit.
An additional award of $49,000 received from the Vera Long Foundation will partially support the project's management, community engagement and equipment operations for year one. The biochar will be sold locally as a soil amendment. The ultimate goal is for the project to be self-sustaining, and ideally, funds from biochar sales will finance additional forest restoration and biochar production - hereby creating an ecologically and economically sustainable model for biomass removal and forest restoration.
The Mendocino County Woody Biomass Working Group (WBWG), an essential community partner, has funded an Ecological Sustainability Literature Review to evaluate how much woody biomass should remain in managed forestland. Findings will guide RFFI's biochar operations and serve to answer community questions about ecologically sound methods of biomass removal. This report will be available soon, and will be posted on our website. Additionally, Judy Harwood's
to Congressman Jared Huffman in March will also be posted on our website shortly.