by Lorien Nettleton ~ January 5th, 2012
The Talkeetna Community Council agreed to write a letter in support of locally-harvested wood as fuel for the Su-Valley High wood boiler system. At the meeting on Tuesday night, Arthur Mannix explained that one item in the twenty-five page grant for the boiler project included language specifying that a pellet system for the boiler should be examined.
According to Mannix, two forestry units had been identified as a renewable wood source for the boiler, and it was the intent of the grants written for the boiler project that the fuel source be part of the local forests and local economy. A Pellet source, Mannix said, would remove woody biomass from local forests, ship them to a processor either in Fairbanks or China, require energy to process the material into pellets, and would then require further transportation to bring the pellets back to Su Valley High.
The forestry units under consideration for the boiler’s stick-fed design would be managed in a sustainable way, Mannix said, and would offer a continual yield of fuel, as well as providing educational opportunities to teach Su Valley students about forestry management and sustainability.