Improving Forest Health
ecoPower will help Eastern Kentucky landowners grow healthier and more productive forests. For far too long, Eastern Kentucky landowners have been unable to market the low quality, firedamaged logs that prevent the regrowth of vigorous stands of high quality trees whose hardwood lumber products will be prized by future generations.
A primary provider of materials for the Perry County plant will be bpm Lumber, LLC, a sister company of ecoPower. bpm Lumber produces Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified hardwood lumber and is active in promoting responsible forest management.
ecoPower’s conversion of wood by-products to create electricity is clean, safe and environmentally friendly. Bioenergy comes from converting recently grown organic materials into useful energy. When trees grow, they use the sun’s energy to convert carbon dioxide into wood. When wood is used to make bioenergy, it is converted back into carbon dioxide. After a tree is harvested, new trees come up naturally or are replanted.
Recycling of wood and carbon dioxide through this process is considered carbon neutral—meaning it takes an equal amount of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere as is released into it. Carbon neutral processes are environmentally friendly.
An added benefit is that ecoPower will help Eastern Kentucky forest landowners remove low quality logs from their forests which will help make way for the regrowth of vigorous new forests for future generations. Vigorous, healthy forests turn carbon dioxide into wood at a high rate.
ecoPower Wood Procurement Policy
ecoPower promotes sustainable forestry. Sustainable forestry is using forest management practices that ensure that the health and productivity of forests are improved for future generations. ecoPower encourages forest landowners to use best management practices to protect water quality, protect cultural resources and at risk species, control invasive species and preserve wildlife habitat and biological diversity. ecoPower demonstrates and promotes best practices for reforesting surface-mined lands in eastern Kentucky.
ecoPower promotes Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of Kentucky’s forestlands and wood industries with the objective of educating forest landowners about proper forest management and increasing the number of sustainably managed forested acres in Kentucky.
ecoPower promotes, and through training sponsorship, actively supports professional logger training programs such as the Kentucky Master Logger program. ecoPower does not do business with logging companies that are not in compliance with state forestry regulations. ecoPower does not do business with wood industries that procure wood from suppliers that are not in compliance with state forestry regulations.
ecoPower does not purchase wood from illegal sources, or from protected or old-growth forests.
ecoPower works with organizations that are interested in forest resources conservation and seeks their constructive input on forest resources conservation issues pertinent to the ecoPower wood procurement area.
ecoPower monitors United States Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) surveys of Eastern Kentucky’s private forestlands and uses FIA data in its wood procurement program’s strategy for preserving the long term viability of the woody biomass supply.
Through support of charitable causes and support and promotion of local conservation education and infrastructure, ecoPower works to be a leader in the local business community. The company also strives to be a good corporate citizen and neighbor that promotes an environmentally and economically sound future for Eastern Kentucky.
About Forest Bioenergy:
Reduces U.S. dependence on foreign oil and nonrenewable energy.
Reduces wild fire risk.
Offsets greenhouse gas emissions.
Creates a market to sell underutilized low-quality logs and other wood by-products.
Creates new jobs.
Enhances rural economies.
Improves forest health and sustainability.