"There is the issue of sustainability. Ecosystem sustainability has to be thought about and dealt with," he said.

"Biomass is like any other market; it's a two-edged sword. It's a good thing; you make money, and there are opportunities to help with aspects of sustainable woodland management. But if it is not managed and conducted properly, you could wind up degrading forest soils and creating a lot of bare ground and opening up the area to invasive species. So we have to do this in the right way, which is part of what we'll talk about at these meetings as well."

The Biomass Harvesting in Kentucky workshop will take place in three regions of the state: July 12 at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton, July 13 at the London Community Center, 529 South Main Street, London and July 14 at the Morehead Conference Center, 111 East First Street, Morehead. All workshops begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. local time.

Sessions will be conducted for woodland owners and loggers. Topics include an overview of woody biomass in the United States and Kentucky, a forest industry outlook for biomass harvesting, costs and benefits for woodland owners, best management practices and future harvesting guidelines, an update on the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, the status of biomass initiatives in Kentucky and harvesting technology.

Speakers include Stringer, Robert Rummer, project leader for forest operations research with the U.S. Forest Service; Daniel Allard, who is in charge of procurement for pulp chips and biomass fuel for paper manufacturer Domtar's facility in Hawesville; Faye Brown, GIS state coordinator for the USDA's Farm Service Agency; Grant Curry, vice-president for fuel procurement of EcoPower; John Lhotka, assistant professor of silviculture in the UK forestry department; Larry Lowe of the Kentucky Division of Forestry and Tim Hughes, director of biofuels in the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.

Pre-registration is required and available online or by calling 859-257-7597 by July 8. The landowner session fee is $10 and includes lunch and refreshments, and the logger session is $50. Late registration is $10 more.

Kentucky Master Loggers will receive six hours of continuing education credits for attending this program. In order to receive credit, Master Loggers must register through the Kentucky Master Logger office, 859-257-6230 or online.