Some mills and manufacturers already use their own wood waste to generate power for their facilities, but not from state forests. The need to get rid of thousands of tons of biomass in Eastern Washington is especially urgent, says Goldmark.
"There's a lot of dead and dying timber there, from drought or from bug kill or just from too dense a stand. This is creating a real risk of wildfire and it drives up the cost of suppressing any fires that start."
The state has almost 2 million acres of forestland and an enormous supply of biomass to work with. The Department of Natural Resources will be taking letters of interest until August 21 from anyone who has ideas or technology for processing the wood waste. Instructions for submitting a letter are online at http://www.dnr.wa.gov/.