Building Northwest Biochar Markets, Olympia Meeting

November 19, 2012 Olympia Biochar meeting

Washington Department of Natural Resources was kind enough to host a meeting of Biochar stakeholders at their headquarters on November 20th. Mark Fuchs with the Washington Department of Ecology organized the event with Climate Solutions. Sixty people representing biochar researchers, producers, consumers and representatives from state and local agencies all met together to compare notes, discuss projects and chart a path for local producers and consumers to use biochar to help address Northwest problems.

The Building Northwest Biochar Markets workshop brought together producers and consumers for char, as well as researchers, engineers and potential regulators for biochar projects from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. They split into working groups for part of the day to evaluate the needs and applications for biochar in the agriculture, forestry, stormwater, and ecosystem services projects. Then, together they discussed the short and long term needs in those areas, the opportunities for biochar, and started work that we hope will lead to good demonstration projects and best practices that will set the standard for effective use of this new technology.

The meeting resulted in the creation of the Pacific Northwest Biochar Working group, and a set of priority projects to help evaluate the effectiveness of using biochar as a tool for local economic development, stormwater filteration, ecosystem remediation and a useful tool for agriculture and holticulturalists. Biochar isn’t a panacea, but it can be used strategically to improve our local quality of life, provide some valuable jobs, and reduce atmospheric carbon.

The Invitation
Building Northwest Biochar Markets is staged by a collaborative of regional biochar leaders, including biochar business innovators and representatives Washington Department of Natural Resources, Oregon Department of Forestry, Washington Department of Ecology, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Washington State University, Pacific Northwest Biochar Initiative, U.S. Biochar Initiative and Climate Solutions. We come together with a common vision to build biochar demand – By increasing production we will bring down costs and make the Northwest a global biochar industry leader

The meeting will:

  • Bring together key biochar leaders in business, government, research and advocacy to craft an action agenda aimed at placing real biochar projects on the ground.
  • Create action plans to grow markets in gardening, agriculture, forestry, bioremediation, bioenergy and ecological services.
  • Build a regional network that will carry out plans to ramp up market demand for biochar in the Northwest.

We invite you to come, roll up your sleeves and help make this vision a reality, working with fellow biochar leaders to build practical and action-oriented strategies tied to real market opportunities.