Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
CHARLES H. BRONSON, Commissioner
The Capitol • Tallahassee, FL 32399-0800


March 1,2010

The Honorable Jeff Atwater
Senate President
404 South Monroe Street
The Capitol, Room 409
Tallahassee Florida 32399-1100
Dear President Atwater:
The 2008 Florida legislature passed a law requiring the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Protection, to conduct a woody biomass economic study. The study includes an economic impact analysis on the effects of granting financial incentives to energy producers who use woody biomass as fuel, including an analysis of effects on wood supply and prices and impacts on current markets and forest sustainability.
The Department's Division of Forestry took the lead on this report and contracted with the University of Florida to conduct the necessary analyses to complete the study. He enclosed report includes an executive summary, introduction, summary of the two impact analyses conducted by the University of Florida, and conclusions. He reports show a significant amount of renewable energy can be developed through the utilization of woody biomass, while still keeping the forest resources of Florida sustainable and current forest industries strong. The key to this success however, is an enhanced reforestation program in Florida that keeps our forest growing. In addition, we will have to better utilize urban wood waste, logging debris and understory vegetation, and support the development of short rotation energy crops as renewable energy demands increase.
For more in depth information you may access the two studies completed by the Umversity of Florida on the Division of Forestry's website, http://www.fl-dof.com. If you have any specific questions concerning the background infonnation, methodology, and results, please contact our Director of the Division of Forestry, Jim Karels, at 850-488-4274 or [email protected].