Improving Forest Health
ecoPower will help landowners grow healthier and more productive forests. For far too long, Eastern Kentucky landowners have been unable to market the low quality and fire damaged 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 woody biomass by-products to create electricity is clean, safe and environmentally friendly. Bioenergy includes the conversion of 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, replacement 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. This is known as the carbon cycle and is accepted by many foresters, forest landowners and others as environmentally friendly.
The development of bioenergy will help many eastern Kentucky forest landowners remove low quality logs from their forests to make way for the regrowth of vigorous new forests for future generations. Vigorous, healthy forests turn carbon dioxide into wood more efficiently.
ecoPower Wood Procurement Policy
ecoPower promotes sustainable forestry. Sustainable forestry utilizes 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, cultural resources and endangered species. These practices also support the containment of invasive species, the preservation of wildlife habitats and biological diversity. ecoPower encourages these 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 actively supports professional logger training programs such as the Kentucky Master Logger program. ecoPower does not conduct business with or procure woody biomass from logging companies or wood industries 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 conservation and seeks their constructive input on conservation issues pertinent to the long term sustainability of forest resources in its operating areas.
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 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 local communities. The company strives to be a good corporate citizen and a neighbor that promotes an environmentally and economically sound future for Eastern Kentucky.