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Forest Economics and Policy Program (FEPP)
FEPP’s mission is to conduct research and analysis on forestry and environmental sustainability issues— with a focus on timber supply, wood energy, and global environmental challenges related to forests—to help policymakers understand the underlying economics critical to the development and implementation of forest policy in the United States.
FEPP experts have served on various advisory councils, including the Presidential Task Force on the Future of Public Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service’s 2nd Committee of Scientists; the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; the Environmental Literacy Council; the National Academies of Sciences Board of Agriculture and Natural Resources; the Board of the Sustainable Forest Initiative; and the EPA Scientific Advisory Board on Biogenic Energy.
FEPP is directed by RFF Senior Fellow Roger Sedjo. FEPP’s Advisory Committee helps bridge discussions among the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and aids in guiding FEPP’s work.
FEPP Research Agenda
For more than thirty years, FEPP has provided objective assessments and analyses of critical forest issues. FEPP experts have played significant roles in informing discussions and helping shape forest policy— from the role of plantation forests as a source of industrial wood to the size of the carbon footprint associated with biomass energy. Other major contributions include research on public forest management, forest carbon offsets, transgenic forestry, and forest monitoring.
Central features of the current FEPP research agenda include:
- Understanding the nature of the carbon footprint associated with bioenergy.
- Studying current and future uses biomass energy, including biofuels from cellulose and wood pellets, and its costs and benefits.
- Analyzing the best approaches for measuring and monitoring global forests and forest carbon, including the use of remote sensing systems.
- Examining the anticipated effects of climate change on forests and exploring how to mitigate those effects.
- Analyzing the effects of wildfire and suppression on forest development.
Recent RFF Publications and Events
- Regulating Emissions from Bioenergy: What Life-Cycle Assessments Tell Us. In an article for Resources magazine, RFF’s Roger Sedjo examines the role of life-cycle assessments in determining whether to exclude renewable forest energy products from regulation under EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule.
- Wood Bioenergy and Land Use: A Challenge to the Searchinger Hypothesis. Brent Sohngen of Ohio State University joins RFF’s Roger Sedjo and Anne Riddle in assessing a hypothesis that the use of biomass energy will decimate forests. The authors find that using biomass grown on submarginal lands can address Searchinger’s concerns about land conversion and carbon emissions.
- Considering the Contributions of Forests in the Management of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. In this seminar co-hosted by RFF and the Society of American Foresters, RFF’s Roger Sedjo moderates a panel of experts that discusses the role of carbon accounting and forest management in national and international climate change mitigation efforts.
- Fossil Fuel Versus Biomass Emissions Revisited. RFF’s Roger Sedjo elaborates on the difference between fossil fuel and biomass emissions in Resources magazine. He notes that although emissions from both sources can be sequestered by biological growth, biomass is unique in that it does not require a net increase in biological growth to offset the emissions it produces.
Recent Journal Articles
“Land Use Change, Carbon, and Bioenergy Reconsidered,” by Roger Sedjo, Brent Sohngen, and Anne Riddle, Climate Change Economics, forthcoming 2015.
“Carbon Accounting Insights for the Use of Forest Biomass from the United States,” by Reid A. Miner, Robert W. Malmsheimer, Robert C. Abt, James L. Bowyer, Marilyn Buford, Jay O’Laughlin, Elaine Oneil, Roger Sedjo, and Kenneth Skog. Western Forester, forthcoming.
“Forest Carbon Accounting Considerations in US Bioenergy Policy,” (2014), by Reid A. Miner, Robert C. Abt, Jim L. Bowyer, Marilyn Buford, Robert W. Malmsheimer, Jay O’Laughlin, Elaine Oneil, Roger Sedjo, and Kenneth Skog, Journal of Forestry 112(6): 591.
“Considerations for Forest Adaptation to Climate Change in Sustainable Production of Wood/Fiber/Biomass, as well as Ecosystem Services,” (2014), by Roger Sedjo. Forest Conservation and Management in the Anthropocene: Conference Proceedings. RMRS-P-71. Fort Collins, CO: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.
“The Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Some Implications for the Forestry Industry,” (2014), by Roger Sedjo. International Center for Business Research.
“Wood Bioenergy and Land Use: A Challenge to the Searchinger Hypothesis,” (2013), by Roger A. Sedjo, Brent Sohngen, and Anne Riddle. Industrial Biotechnology 9(6): 319.