Dorris Ranch Trees Turned into Energy

Seneca Turns Local Blight into Local Clean Energy

Seneca’s renewable energy plant is clean and green.  The diseased Dorris Ranch trees will be put to their highest and best use by being incinerated to create renewable energy for the local community.

Dorris Ranch was the nation’s first filbert farm.  It has continued to operate since being founded in 1903.  Eastern filbert blight was discovered on the ranch over a decade ago and measures were taken to slow the blight’s progress but ultimately the blight is terminal and it kills every tree it infects.  The infected wood must be destroyed.  Even after a tree has been cut and felled, the fungus can continue to produce spores from cankers sitting in brush piles and the blight can continue to spread from within or next to an orchard.

Workers have cut down about 1,400 of the sickliest trees which will be replaced with blight resistant trees later this year.  This week Lane Forest Products is chipping the felled trees and hauling to Seneca Sustainable Energy to be used as fuel in their state-of-the-art biomass plant instead of being burned out in the open

Seneca Sustainable Energy has the cleanest running biomass plant in America.  The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the benzene emissions from open burning is 163 times more than if burned in the renewable energy facility.  Open burning would generate 672 times more greenhouse gases than controlled combustion, and 960 times more hydrocarbons.

Over 25% of the $65 million dollar investment was dedicated to the air emission control equipment and technology.

Burning the trees in Seneca’s facility will create the least amount of waste while creating the greatest benefit.

Seneca is proud to be a part of the solution for the diseased historic filbert trees.  They have captured drone footage of the effort including the chipping, hauling and truck dump into their facility.

“This is just another in a long-list of local projects whereby wood biomass has been recycled and utilized for a common good as opposed to landfilling or burning in the open environment.  We’re so glad to help the community in this regard and to see the historic Dorris Ranch returned to a more healthy state for all to enjoy”, said Seneca’s CEO Todd Payne.