March 22, 2007

CRAPO ANNOUNCES NEW BIOMASS PROJECTS IN IDAHO

Projects further objectives of Healthy Forest Restoration Act

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo says that more Idahoans are becoming involved with forest biomass and renewable fuels projects promoted by the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA). Crapo was the original Senate sponsor of HFRA more than three years ago. Today, he applauded the U.S. Forest Service's announcement regarding funding for three new Idaho projects. The recipients of the grants are located in Salmon, St. Maries and Parma."At a time when this nation is looking to broaden renewable energy sources, these grants assist with innovative developments using woody biomass," said Crapo, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Rural Revitalization, Conservation, Forestry and Credit. "These grants also assist with creating healthier forests and healthier economies by expanding the utilization of small-diameter wood from our forests for new products."The three Idaho projects could be in operation by this summer. Forest Fuels Solutions of Salmon will use the $250,000 federal grant along with matching local dollars to operate a small-diameter post and pole manufacturing plant in Salmon. Parma Post and Pole, Inc. in Parma will utilize a $245,180 grant to purchase new equipment, add employees, and remove salvage timber from the national forest. The St. Maries Joint School District will receive a $250,000 grant to convert the existing fuel oil heating system to one using wood chips. The move will provide heat in the school system at reduced costs, cut air pollution from open burning and utilize homegrown energy instead of foreign oil."Parma Post & Pole, Inc. is very honored to be selected as one of the 2007 Woody Biomass Grants recipients," said Mike Sterling, owner of the Parma firm. "Forest health has become a very serious issue. These grants will enable companies to add value to a materials historically left in the woods and burned." "These projects benefit the economy, the environment and the Idaho lifestyle," Crapo added. "These are the kinds of projects that result in win-win situations for all involved, and it is important that we find ways to promote innovative ways to meet our energy needs."