Colorado State Forest Service Appoints Group to Promote Timber as Energy Source

The Colorado State Forest Service has appointed a diverse group of forestry, economics and alternative energy professionals to promote development of a market for woody biomass, including beetle-kill timber, as an energy source.

Created through Senate Bill 11-267, the Colorado Forest Health Act of 2011, the purpose of the Colorado Forest Biomass Use Work Group is to promote forest health, woody biomass energy development and sustainable markets that encourage active, sustainable forest management. The work group will identify barriers to the biomass utilization industry in Colorado and methods to support a forest products industry in the state. It also will recommend ways the CSFS can maximize its effectiveness in providing information about utilizing woody biomass to citizens and industry.

The newly appointed work group consists of the following members, listed with their organizational affiliation or area of expertise:

  • Joe Duda, Colorado State Forest Service
  • Doug Robotham, Colorado Department of Natural Resources
  • Rob Davis, Colorado Forest Health Advisory Council
  • Stacey Simms, Governor’s Energy Office
  • Director or designee, Colorado Office of Economic Development
  • John Stulp, Compact Negotiations/Interbasin Compact Committee
  • Susan Ford, U.S. Forest Service
  • Dan Bihn, Bihn Systems, energy/natural resources
  • Norm Birtcher, Western Excelsior Corporation, forest products industry
  • John Scahill, Department of Energy (retired), biomass technology industry
  • Phil Kastelic, Colorado Forest and Energy, biomass technology industry
  • Joe Pandy, Mountain Parks Electric, utility infrastructure/rights-of-way
  • Tim Sullivan, The Nature Conservancy, forest ecology

“The cost-per-acre for forest management will continue to increase without a sustainable, market-based approach,” said Joe Duda, CSFS Forest Management Division supervisor. “We look forward to working with this diverse group of experts to develop recommendations that support active forest management and promote the development of woody biomass as an energy resource in Colorado.”

The work group will provide an initial report by Nov. 1 and submit a final report to the Colorado House of Representatives by Jan. 1, 2012. More information about wood utilization in Colorado is available at