Mendocino National Forest wins National Partnership Award

MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – The Mendocino National Forest last month received a national award for outstanding partnerships and collaboration on the Alder Springs hazardous fuel reduction and carbon sequestration research project.

The Two Chiefs' Partnership Awards honored five projects nationwide that "demonstrate successful collaboration in conservation and forest stewardship."

The award was announced in Washington, D.C., by Forest Service Chief Abigail Kimbell and Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Arlen Lancaster at a joint meeting of leaders from the Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Association of State Foresters, and National Association of Conservation Districts.

Partners with the Mendocino National Forest on the Alder Springs project are California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Winrock International, Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station and Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region State and Private Forestry.

In announcing the award, Chief Kimbell said, "This cutting edge partnership will result in improved forest health, fuel reduction and comprehensive insight into carbon sequestration (storage) methods."

Mendocino National Forest awarded a stewardship contract for the Alder Springs project to Sierra Pacific Industries of Anderson, CA, in July 2007 to thin trees and remove biomass in order to reduce the size and intensity of future wildfires while improving forest health. Sierra Pacific Industries began work in September and is transporting the biomass to Wheelabrator Shasta Energy Co. also of Anderson, CA, for conversion into electricity.

At the same time, Forest Service researchers are collaborating with California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and Winrock International to measure greenhouse gas emission reductions resulting from fuels and forest management treatments, evaluate and quantify potential revenues in current and future carbon markets, and evaluate the potential for renewable energy credits and incentives associated with biomass energy production.

Five individuals were specifically recognized by the Two Chiefs' Partnership Award for their work in carrying out the Alder Springs Project. They are:

Each Alder Springs project partner organization will receive an engraved wood plaque made from black cherry harvested from sustainably-managed forests that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and each individual will receive a certificate of appreciation from the two Chiefs.