A documentary about the use of wood in a new way -- in the form of chips -- that will help to deliver heat and electricity as an alternate energy source for the future.
This film documents the Vermont experiment that has been carried on since 1977 and shows the success of a new and different technique that has been developed to harvest and process wood quickly and in great volume. Giant chipping machines chew up whole trees right in the forest where they are cut, utilizing leaves, twigs, branches and trunks, and in the process creates an abundant wood product that is easily handled for transportation and for feeding into energy-producing furnaces.
Forestry experts supervise the cutting and the chipping of "weed trees" not suitable for processing into lumber, that would otherwise rot in the forest and impede the growth of the otherwise valuable lumber species. Care is taken in the tree-harvesting procedure so that the environment will not be damaged and so that there will be sufficient wood available to cut in this manner in the future years.
This Vermont process is the first one in the U.S. east of the Mississippi River. The cutting has taken place around South Duxbury, Vermont and has been supervised by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. The wood chips have been delivered--as a private enterprise--to the Burlington Electric Company to generate electricity, and some chips have been delivered to the State Hospital in Waterbury for generating heat. The potential exists in Vermont to supply up to 25% of the state's power and home-heating requirements by utilizing the existing natural tree resources.
Environmental, economic, and technical pros and cons of whole-tree harvesting are raised as this film explores an alternative that looks more attractive every time the price of a barrel of fuel oil rises.
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