Woodcache PBC

Wood Waste Utilization Assessment for the Greater Taos, New Mexico Region

TSS Consultants
TSS Consultants/The Nature Conservancy
Peer Reviewed: No
Year Published: 2017

Key Takeaways:

  • 27,876 bone dry tonnes (BDT) of biomass was economically available within 50 miles of Taos, NM, at a delivered cost of between $36.25-51.25/BDT
  • The authors estimate that forest restoration activities generate 6 BDT of woody biomass per acre treated for pinyon-juniper forests, and an average of 8.5 BDT per acre treated for mixed conifer and ponderosa pine.
  • Treating 15-20,000 acres of woodlands would generate 120,000 BDT of woody biomass. There are 3,026,412 acres of woodlands in the survey area, implying a total of 18.2 Million BDT available within 50 acres of Taos, NM.
Wood waste utilization assessment for the greater taos, new mexico region


The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is coordinating with the Taos Valley Watershed Coalition (TVWC) to support planning and implementation of landscape-scale forest restoration projects across 280,000 acres on the west slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The Carson National Forest, Taos Pueblo, and numerous private landowners in the region are expected to participate in restoration planning and treatment implementation in the coming years using the TVWC Landscape Restoration Strategy as a guide.

In 2015, the TVWC Landscape Restoration Strategy (LRS) was created as a guiding document that agencies, communities, tribes, Firewise communities, private landowners and nongovernmental organizations (NGO’s) will implement to protect, improve and restore water quality, quantity and ecological function of forests and streams in the Rio Grande watershed within Taos County. The LRS advocates a blend of treatment activities including controlled burns, natural fire ignitions and thinning activities. Thinning treatments (where appropriate) have the potential to generate forest biomass material as a byproduct. Commercial roundwood is removed as sawlogs, firewood, vigas, and latillas, with residuals (limbs, tops, small stems) piled and burned or chipped and scattered. These residues have the potential to be utilized as feedstock for value-added processes.

TNC has asked that TSS Consultants (TSS) determine biomass value-added processes that could utilize forest and woodland restoration byproducts generated as a result of the LRS implementation. This would be a Phase I analysis effort, with Phase II (if undertaken) being a detailed feasibility assessment of selected value-added technologies.