Can bioenergy help restore Kentucky’s mining-scarred lands?

June 10, 2013 |

In Kentucky, Yes Magazine is highlighting opportunities to use former strip mine lands for biofuels as part of an effort to remediate the scarred land left by surface mining in Eastern Kentucky. The report highlighted use of the short-rotation trees such as black locust that could be harvested each 5-10 years to produce biomass for energy and heat applications — with the land eventually transitioning back to long-term forest varietals.

Green Forests Work, a nonprofit spin-off of the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, has been working to remediate land that was over-compacted by departing mining companies, who were attempting to control surface erosion and comply withe the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, resulting in 1 million acres with soil that is too compacted for trees and native vegetation to grow. The reforestation initiative forseesthe use of bioenergy as a means of financially justifying the re-tilling of the soil and planting of new trees.

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Category: Fuels

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