Haliburton Forest Hosts Canadian Conference on Wood Biomass and Its Environmental Impact

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Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve Ltd. is hosting a Canadian conference on wood biomass and its impact on the environment.

Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve Ltd. is hosting a Canadian conference on wood biomass and its impact on the environment.

Demonstrating their commitment to protecting the environment, Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve Ltd. (http://www.haliburtonforest.com) in Ontario, Canada is hosting a Wood Biomass for Energy Conference on May 11, 2007. Partnering with the Haliburton Highlands Stewardship Council and the Haliburton County Development Corporation (http://www.haliburtoncdc.ca), they will be presenting to the public the latest research on wood biomass and its potential to convert wood waste into carbon-neutral energy. In this day-long event, participants will obtain an overview of the topic with up-to-date information and experiences. Guest speakers will include wood scientists, ecologists, and experts from a variety of related fields. The wood energy experts will provide an overview of all the latest developments in Europe, ecologists will address environmental concerns, and specialists will be presenting case studies.

Wood biomass is a very hot topic, especially in Canada. According to the Federal government, Canada has millions of hectares of managed forests, and extensive tests have shown that only a small percentage of forest growth is harvested for forest products. Nutrient-balanced experiments have shown that forest residuals can be removed for fuel without adversely affecting the forest ecosystem. In fact, residuals must be removed in some forests to allow replanting of productive tree species. Furthermore, some of the harvested logs that are not used for traditional products could be used as fuel for generating energy for a variety of applications.

Wood biomass is a simple, yet extremely beneficial process that protects the environment by placing waste wood, tree branches, and other forestry residue into huge hoppers. This is then fed into a furnace where it is burned. The heat is used to boil water in the biomass boiler, and the energy in the steam is used to turn turbines and generators. Biofuels are seen by many as a way to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. As a result, biomass can be used to replace non-renewable sources of energy; this in turn would help reduce global warming.

The Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve, encompassing over 60,000 acres of forest, lakes and trails, right next door to Ontario's famous Algonquin Park, has a long-standing reputation as a progressive leader in environmentally responsible forest management. The land that is now the Haliburton Forest was, at one time, parceled out in lots by the government to British immigrants for farming. Covered with huge white pines suitable for masts and rigging, it soon became apparent that the land was far more valuable for logging than farming and, over the years, was mismanaged to the point where there was nothing left worth cutting. The turning point for the Forest came in 1962, when it was sold to German investors who understood the value of the land and the importance of using its resources wisely. Today, the Haliburton Forest is a sustainable forest (FSC certified) that boasts miles of diverse trails and a host of recreational activities. The Haliburton Forest is living proof that a well-managed forest can provide both economic benefits and a variety of recreational activities.

Envisioning the potential benefits of biomass energy, not only for forest managers, but also for almost every aspect of society, it was decided by Haliburton Forest owner Peter Schleifenbaum, that instead of hosting their annual "Celebration of Research" conference this year, they would host a renewable energy conference on biomass and its possible applications.

Admission to the conference is $60.00 per person and includes lunch and a binder of conference proceedings including related information. Space is limited to 140 guests and participants are requested to pre-register.

Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve features wilderness adventure activities including the Wolf Centre, Walk in the Clouds forest canopy tour, groomed snowmobile trails, mountain biking, dog sledding, hiking, astronomy, wildlife observation, wilderness camping and accommodations. For more information, or to register for the Canadian conference on wood biomass, please visit http://www.haliburtonforest.com or call (704) 754-2198.

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