Forests in Nebraska are ecologically diverse:
- Forests in the northern and northwestern parts of the state consist primarily of Ponderosa pine
- Eastern Nebraska has hardwood forests typical of the Midwest
- Cottonwood is predominant in riparian forests along the Platte, Missouri and Republican rivers
Proper management of Nebraska’s forests and urban trees offers a variety of commercial opportunities:
- Maintaining healthy eastern hardwood forests can provide logs for hardwood lumber. Currently more than 100 firms are involved in the forestry and logging industry in Nebraska, with sales totaling $3 million or more annually.
- Harvesting and thinning efforts can provide both lumber and biomass. Cottonwood harvested in restoration efforts, for example, can be used to make pallets, chips and veneers.
- Biomass from forest improvement, rangeland improvement, urban forests, manufacturing by-products and riparian management can be used for mulch, fuel pellets, wood boiler fuel and other products.
- Is your facility considering upgrading its heating system? Think wood! Feasibility study grants are available for facilities exploring the possibility of switching to a wood-fired heating system. Targeted facilities include agricultural and livestock operations, warehouses, greenhouse operations, municipal buildings, hospitals, college/school campuses, correctional institutions, pellet manufacturers and alfalfa dehydration plants, among others.
- All of these efforts offer the additional benefit of minimizing the risk and expense of wildfires.
Nebraska Forest Service can assist efforts to market and utilize forest resources for traditional wood products, specialty forest products and woody biomass.