Sometimes the politicians get it right

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Norman Baker

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Feb 8, 2018, 1:28:31 PM2/8/18
to PNW Biochar
PNW Biochar people;

I was very surprised when one of our members emailed me about this pending legislation. When you read over the bill it is very well done. Please support this bill in all of your activist activities. I have reproduced significant parts of the bill below.


Norm

TO EACH MEMBER OF CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, AND TO 2 JAY INSLEE, THE GOVERNOR OF WASHINGTON STATE, AND TO THE DIRECTORS OF 3 THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST AND ROCKY MOUNTAIN RESEARCH STATIONS OF THE 4 UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE, AND TO THE UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE 5 REGION 6 REGIONAL FORESTER, AND TO THE UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE 6 DEPUTY CHIEF FOR STATE AND PRIVATE FORESTRY, AND TO THE PRESIDENTS OF 7 THE WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, AND 8 TO THE DIRECTORS OF THE WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY AND 9 THE WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND TO THE WASHINGTON STATE COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC LANDS:10 11 We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of 12 the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:13 14 WHEREAS, Biochar is a carbon rich solid produced for 15 noncombustion purposes by the thermochemical conversion of organic matter; and16 17 WHEREAS, An important coproduct of biochar production is energy 18 in thermal, gaseous, electrical, and liquid fuel forms; and 19 WHEREAS, Biochar can be produced from many forms of organic 20 matter including: Whole trees, residual forest materials, wood chips, 21 seaweed, food processing waste, demolition waste, wheat straw, and 22 many other forms of agricultural and municipal waste; and WHEREAS, People working for the United States Forest Service, the 2 Washington State University, the University of Washington, and the 3 Washington State Department of Ecology have been researching the use 4 of biochar and found that several potential markets exist for the 5 product, including as agricultural soil amendments, reforestation 6 treatments, pollution remediation, animal feed, and landscaping material; and7 8 WHEREAS, Forest health activities to thin forests, decrease fuel 9 loads, and remove trees killed by insects and disease can be 10 expensive because there are currently few markets for small roundwood 11 and virtually no markets for residual material, such as tops and limbs; and12 13 WHEREAS, Biochar provides a potential economic use for woody 14 biomass that can help offset forest fuel reduction project costs, which means more acres can be treated; and15 16 WHEREAS, Removing excess forest biomass for use as a feedstock 17 for biochar can minimize the severity of wildfires; and 18 WHEREAS, The Agricultural Research Service has found that the 19 addition of biochar to soils may increase soil carbon, soil nutrient content, and plant productivity; and20 21 WHEREAS, Biochar can increase the economic value and productivity 22 of Washington soils and benefit Washington farmers by reducing 23 expenditures for irrigation and fertilizer while increasing soil pH and yields; and24 25 WHEREAS, Designer biochars can be produced from different 26 feedstocks with varying production techniques to enhance or diminish specific attributes; and27 28 WHEREAS, Biochar is a porous material that retains water which 29 can reduce drought risk and irrigation inputs to farms, urban landscaping, and recreational facilities; and30 31 WHEREAS, United States Forest Service studies have found that 32 biochar in soils attracts and holds water, increases ion exchange 33 capacity, makes soil more porous, and enhances absorption of organic 34 compounds, all of which enhance soil productivity and facilitate 35 plant growth to reduce erosion and restore compacted, oxidized, and degraded soils; and36 37 WHEREAS, Biochar can be used in filters, such as those used in 38 water treatment facilities, and well-established markets exist for activated carbon; and WHEREAS, Biochar can be used for remediation projects to absorb 2 pollutants destined for our wells, rivers, lakes, and oceans; and 3 WHEREAS, Biochar is modeled after "terra preta" a process used 4 thousands of years ago in Brazil's Amazon basin where indigenous 5 people created plots of rich, fertile soils that continue to hold carbon today and remain nutrient rich; and6 7 WHEREAS, Biochar can store carbon in the ground that may 8 otherwise be released into the atmosphere from wildfires or decomposition; and9 10 WHEREAS, Biochar can be fed to ruminants to increase weight gain, 11 and its application can also reduce methane emissions from manure and compost piles; and12 13 WHEREAS, Washington State is a national leader in the advancement 14 of biochar research, development, and early commercialization; and 15 WHEREAS, The production, placement, and benefits of biochar can 16 enhance rural economic development and employment; 17 NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully affirm their 18 support for the research efforts of the United States Forest Service, 19 the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of 20 Agriculture, the Washington State University, the Washington State 21 Department of Ecology, and other institutions to produce biochar from 22 the removal of wildfire fuel loads from the forest floor, waste 23 agricultural products, and other waste biomass destined for landfills 24 or combustion; and support the research of biochar as an animal feed, 25 remediation tool, landscaping material, and soil amendment for forest and agricultural lands.26 27 BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately 28 transmitted to Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington State; the 29 Directors of the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain Research 30 Stations of the United States Forest Service; the United States 31 Forest Service Region 6 Regional Forester; the United States Forest 32 Service Deputy Chief for State and Private Forestry; the Presidents 33 of the Washington State University and the University Of Washington; 34 the Directors of the Washington State Department of Ecology and the 35 Washington State Department of Agriculture; the Washington State 36 Commissioner of Public Lands; and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.

Norman Baker

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Feb 8, 2018, 6:54:15 PM2/8/18
to Gloria Flora, Harrington, Mary (ECY), Ken Miller, pnw-b...@googlegroups.com, nwbi...@bioenergylists.org
Gloria;

Excellent observation. Could not agree more.

Norm

On Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 3:06 PM, Gloria Flora <bio...@s-o-solutions.org> wrote:

It carries no ‘teeth’ per se, but it’s an incredibly important step is raising awareness of, and legitimizing biochar in the state of WA! 

 

Dr. Jim Amonette gave the Committee an excellent presentation that resulted in sound support!

 

Wonderful to see this!

 

Gloria

 

From: NWBiochar [mailto:nwbiochar-bounces@lists.bioenergylists.org] On Behalf Of Harrington, Mary (ECY)
Sent: Thursday, February 08, 2018 12:04 PM
To: Ken Miller <kenmill...@gmail.com>; pnw-b...@googlegroups.com
Cc: nwbi...@bioenergylists.org
Subject: Re: [NWBiocharWG] Sometimes the politicians get it right

 

Yes – a resolution to educate legislators about the benefits of biochar.  Getting the word/concept on the radar so they know what it is if and when legislation is proposed. J

 

Mary E. Harrington

Washington Department of Ecology

Waste 2 Resources Program

P.O. Box 47600

Olympia, WA 98504-7600

(360) 407-6915

 

 

 

From: NWBiochar [mailto:nwbiochar-bounces@lists.bioenergylists.org] On Behalf Of Ken Miller
Sent: Thursday, February 08, 2018 12:01 PM
To: pnw-b...@googlegroups.com
Cc: nwbi...@bioenergylists.org
Subject: Re: [NWBiocharWG] Sometimes the politicians get it right

 

It's a resolution, not legislation according to my source.

 

Ken

 


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