The U.S. Forest Service has announced two 10-year stewardship contracts. The Medicine Bow-Routt Long Term Stewardship Contract was awarded to Kremmling, Colo.-based wood pellet producer Confluence Energy. Under the $4.75 million contract, Confluence Energy will remove beetle-killed trees. In areas where the trees have commercial value for the production of wood pellets, dimension lumber or other biomass products, Confluence Energy will pay for the material to offset the cost to government.
The $8.66 million White River Long Term Stewardship Contract was awarded to West Range Reclamation LLC, a Hotchkill, Colo.-based forest management company. The contract focuses on the removal of trees susceptible to insects and disease infestations. West Range Reclamation has partnered with Eagle Valley Clean Energy to utilize dead and small-diameter trees removed under the contract as fuel in the company’s future 11.5 MW biomass plant in Gypsum, Colo. The power plant is supported by a $40 million loan guarantee awarded by USDA Rural Development’s Utility Service in October.