The National Forest Foundation on Wednesday announced the winner of the 2016/2017 Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge. This unique competition provides awards for the best entrepreneurial approaches that help to solve one or more of the challenges facing America’s 193-million-acre National Forest system.
Sponsor Dr. Craig R. Barrett, former chairman and CEO of Intel and current chairman of the NFF’s Board of Directors, described the purpose of this competition as, “stimulating new ideas and cultivating the next generation of entrepreneurial natural resource and business leaders.”
This year’s winner, the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment, submitted an innovative proposal that meets Barrett’s vision of the challenge.
The Sierra Institute proposed capitalizing on California’s unique energy markets and its abundant source of wood biomass.
The Institute’s proposal calls for a three megawatt combined heat and power (CHP) energy facility powered by local, sustainably harvested wood, co-located with other wood-products businesses. The plant would be located in rural Plumas County, California, an area hit especially hard by downturns in the timber industry and with national forests making up two-thirds of the county, much of them fire-prone.