Within the next week, the House of Representatives will vote on an amendment to House Bill 183, approved unanimously by the N.H. Senate last week, to assist six independent biomass plants. This bill signifies life or death for the future of the entire forest industry in New Hampshire and the surrounding region.
The closure of the biomass plants this spring as a result of Eversource’s refusal to sign contracts presents devastating consequences for thousands of forest workers and associated industries throughout the state.
If these plants close permanently, it will entail the loss of over 1 million tons of low-grade “waste wood” a year. To put this in perspective, imagine if tractor trailer load of wood chips were placed in a line: 1 million tons of wood would span a distance of trucks all the way from Manchester to Baltimore.
Indeed, this is a massive volume of low-grade wood and reveals just how extensive the loss of this market is to our New Hampshire economy.
How will we clean up after massive ice storms like 1998? How will we clean up after tornadoes like the 50-mile swath that sliced from Deerfield to the Maine border? How will we cleanse the woods of invasive insects and plants such as the emerald ash borer?
With rising property taxes, private landowners rely on forest income to keep their land open, free for recreational uses such as hunting, snowmobiling and ATV use.
To all New Hampshire representatives: please support HB 183. Your support is crucial for the future of our forests and the thousands of workers who are counting on your support.
341 East Road