Biofuels and Community Participation

Biofuels and Community Participation

Biofuels and Community Participation

Extension and other natural resource educators can provide educational programming on renewable energy and potential impacts at the community level, and can be facilitators of community discussions about renewable energy. Sharon Lezberg provided training materials to approximately 100 extension, NRCS educators, and community stakeholders on ways to engage community members and stakeholders in assessing proposed bioenergy developments. The toolkit Lezburg developed provides a decision-making tool to guide communities toward developing their own standard of sustainability and criteria for meeting that standard. It’s
available online.

One evaluator noted, “There is strength in a tool that allows developers and communities to objectively assess
a renewable energy project...Ultimately, the interaction between developer and community generated by this tool will result in citing renewable energy projects that are profitable for developers, compatible with neighbors, and consistent with local community values.”

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This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.

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From the Field