Inaugural California Biomass Workshop a key opportunity for progress

California’s rural communities are in the grip of a wood waste crisis – with millions of tons of residues from wildfire prevention and agriculture being piled and burned or left to decompose every year, causing major carbon and air pollution. This problem is expected to become significantly worse as the state ramps up its forest treatments to achieve the Governor’s Million Acre Target. A cohesive strategy to manage this wood waste at scale and divert it to optimal end-uses that not only avoid these harmful impacts but also drive fossil fuel reduction and regional economic development is sorely needed.

Conservation Strategy Group and UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy are co-hosting the California Biomass Workshop on January 31st, 2024 at the Citizen Hotel in Sacramento. The purpose of the workshop is to bring together a diversity of stakeholders from around the state to coordinate and advance solutions to this major resource management challenge.

Attendees will hear keynotes from leading state policymakers, including California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot and Assembly Majority Leader Cecilia Aguiar-Curry. There will also be a number of panel discussions on the day, with experts from academia, public agencies, tribes, community groups, NGOs, developers and more providing their perspectives on the key barriers and opportunities to developing a sustainable and equitable wood waste bioeconomy in California.

We are excited to co-host this event and hope that it can provide a platform for important progress in 2024 and beyond. If you are interested in attending, note that spaces are limited. You can register via the California Biomass Workshop webpage or via this direct link.

More workshop background and materials will be shared in the lead up to the event, including the announcement of panelists as well as commissioned articles from key speakers as a way to start the stakeholder dialogue. If you are interested in having your name added to to the listserv to follow these communications, you can email Cristina Cameron ( For event information, please email Sam Uden ( and Colin Murphy ( 

Finally, we want to thank our California Biomass Workshop sponsors, including a number of organizations that are based in high-risk wildfire areas and who have been advancing solutions to this problem for a number of years. We are glad to have them support and sponsor this event.

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