Last month, Beth Adams from Mass Forest Rescue educated us about the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership Plan.
Berkshire and Franklin County forests are at risk of exploitation for industrial scale harvesting for wood pellets. The plan is to incentivize installing pellet boilers in schools and to ship pellets to Europe. Cutting forests for wood pellets is not carbon neutral and burning them creates pollution and promotes climate disruption. We need to stop the bill which would allocate $6 million in public funds to support and promote this biomass harvesting.
The MA Legislature’s Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy Committee recently gave a thumbs up to Dept of Energy Resources (DOER) regulations that include biomass in the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard. Pellet boilers are also being subsidized by the state HeatSmart program. DOER’s push to use public funds to subsidize dirty biomass combustion is in direct opposition to statewide efforts to mitigate climate disruption.
Part two of this effort, under the guise of “forest management” is a bill to give $6 million in public funds to set up a control board which would enact and oversee the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership to increase commercial wood fuel energy in the 21 Town region of Franklin and Berkshire County. H. 2932 “An Act establishing the Mohawk Trail Woodlands partnership” is now before the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee, Chaired by State Sen. Anne Gobi and Rep. Smitty Pignatelli.
Even if Smitty Pignatelli is not your State Representative, as Chair, he is accountable to you for bills in his committee. Please take a couple minutes to call his office to let him know he should reject this bill. firstname.lastname@example.org 413-637-0631