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Erratum published on 27 November 2018, see Forests 2018, 9(12), 741.

Open AccessArticle
Forests 2018, 9(10), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100655

Stakeholder Assessment of the Feasibility of Poplar as a Biomass Feedstock and Ecosystem Services Provider in Southwestern Washington, USA

1
Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest, Washington State University Extension, 600 128th St SE, Everett, WA 98208, USA
2
Biofuels and Bioproducts Laboratory, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98115, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 September 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 20 October 2018
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Abstract

Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB), a USDA NIFA-funded consortium of university and industry partners, identified southwestern Washington as a potential location for a regional bioproducts industry using poplar trees (Populus spp.) as the feedstock. In this qualitative case study, we present the results of an exploratory feasibility investigation based on conversations with agricultural and natural resources stakeholders. This research complements a techno-economic modelling of a hypothetical biorefinery near Centralia, WA, USA. Interviews and group discussions explored the feasibility of a poplar-based bioproducts industry in southwestern WA, especially as it relates to converting land to poplar farms and the potential for poplar to provide ecosystem services. Stakeholders revealed challenges to local agriculture, past failures to profit from poplar (for pulp/sawlogs), land-use planning efforts for flood mitigation and salmon conservation, questions about biorefinery operations, and a need for a new economic opportunity that “pencils out”. Overall, if the business model is convincing, participants see chances for win-win situations where landowners could profit growing poplar on otherwise low-value acreage and achieve ecosystem services for wastewater or floodplain management. View Full-Text
Keywords: woody bioenergy crop; social acceptance; short rotation coppice; bioeconomy; biorefinery; land-use; agriculture; crop adoption; wastewater; floodplain woody bioenergy crop; social acceptance; short rotation coppice; bioeconomy; biorefinery; land-use; agriculture; crop adoption; wastewater; floodplain
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Hart, N.M.; Townsend, P.A.; Chowyuk, A.; Gustafson, R. Stakeholder Assessment of the Feasibility of Poplar as a Biomass Feedstock and Ecosystem Services Provider in Southwestern Washington, USA. Forests 2018, 9, 655.

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