15. - Recommend projects, initiatives and new or improved authorities to enhance wildlife habitat on federal lands by promoting biofuel production

Text from the Recreational Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Plan, 2008, Page 17

To manage our nation’s forest lands through projects designed to reduce wildfire fuel loads, provide woody biomass for nontraditional products, including biofuels in a manner that enhances and improves wildlife habitat, potential projects, among other possibilities, could:

  • Initiate a biofuels initiative to reduce risks of catastrophic wildfire causing habitat loss. The initiative protects habitat and provides conservation funding through stewardship contracts. In planning biofuels projects, federal agencies use best available science and models to determine the amount, kind, and location of early seral habitat to meet desired populations of game and nongame species as determined jointly with state and tribal wildlife management agencies.
  • Develop investment tax credits that encourage the development of improved technologies for utilizing woody biomass for cellulosic ethanol. The credit would apply to all stages of a project including the removal of woody biomass and its transportation.
  • Ensure that mechanisms that will ensure long-term provision of biomass from federal lands (HFRA byproducts) for creation of ethanol and Co-Gen are in place.
  • Authorize federal agencies to retain receipts from the sale of woody biomass to provide priority funding toward habitat restoration in areas impacted by harvest. The remaining receipts would be used to fund the Secure Rural Schools program, additional forest health projects, and to provide access for hunting and other wildlife dependent recreation.
  • Develop a national strategy for wind farm siting that will protect the grassland/shrubland steppe and associated wildlife in the face of ever-expanding wind farms and transmission lines.
  • Create bond authority to facilitate the use of timber receipts for improved forest health.

Assessment of Status: Partially Complete

There are examples of federal and state projects and initiatives to promote biofuel production via woody biomass. However, there is not a new or improved authority to enhance wildlife habitat on federal lands by promoting biofuel production. In addition, as exemplified by the letter from the WHHCC, there are growing concerns over use of bioenergy crops on Conservation Reserve Program lands.

Supporting documentation and findings

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