Are there risks to the environment associated with harvesting woody biomass?

There are always some risks associated with forest harvesting. Collection of woody biomass from the forest, especially clearcuts, represents high rates of utilization. Questions have been raised regarding maintenance of long-term site productivity due to the removal of nutrients found in the tree stem, limbs, branches, and foliage. Other questions have been raised regarding the effect of modifying stand structure and inputs of coarse woody debris on wildlife habitat. Some entities have developed biomass harvesting guidelines to mitigate impacts using the best available science. Generally speaking, it is assumed that following established Best Management Practices for timber harvesting will adequately protect water quality. Modified from NCSU Extension Forestry and used with permission by authors.