The N.C. State study mentioned in the July 5 news article “NCSU study: Harvesting for wood pellets has no impact on woodland life” completely misrepresented the current biomass harvesting situation in North Carolina.
While Chris Moorman’s study focused entirely on harvesting that occurs in pine plantations, the article failed to point out that the vast majority of wood pellets manufactured in North Carolina come from native hardwood forests.
The largest wood pellet manufacturer in the state, Enviva, shows through its own data from 2015 that its mills in the region use approximately 70 to 90 percent hardwoods. Additionally, the study characterized biomass feedstocks as solely the debris left over after logging when in fact it has been clearly documented by multiple regional and national media outlets, including The N&O, that Enviva continues to source whole trees to produce pellets.
The North American Coastal Plain, including coastal North Carolina, was recently recognized as the world’s 36th Global Hotspot for Biodiversity because of myriad species found nowhere else on the planet. If we do not adequately address and study the real effects of the expanding industrial biomass industry, then we may have that recognition revoked sooner that we think.
Campaign director, Dogwood Alliance