The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has conducted studies to estimate the biomass resources currently available in the United States by county. The map shown right illustrates the total biomass resources of the U.S. per square kilometer based on their evaluations of crop residues, forest residues, primary and secondary mill residues, urban wood waste, and methane emissions from manure management, landfills, and domestic wastewater treatment.

Among the western states, Nevada's forests are unique. The state is characterized by forested mountain ranges separated by wide non-forested basins. In an assessment conducted by the U.S. Forest Service (Born et al., 1992), it was estimated that almost 14% of Nevada was forested, with the following breakouts:

  • Forests in Nevada occupy about 9.8 million acres.
  • Only 757,000 acres are timberland, including 65,000 acres reserved from timber harvesting.
  • Most timberland stands are in high-elevation, steep areas that are managed primarily for scenic and watershed values.
  • Over 9 million acres were classified as woodland.
  • Only about 25,000 acres of woodland are reserved from use for wood products.
  • 2/3 of the woodland is managed by the BLM.
  • Pinyon-juniper is the dominant forest type and occupies about 7.2 million acres
  • Most of the remaining woodland is the pure juniper type.
  • 1/2 of the woodlands are on sites that are considered usable for wood production and are on slopes <30%.
  • Woodland net volume, found primarily in pinyon and juniper species, amounted to 4.1 billion cubic feet.

This study estimated that there was about 1.55 million acres of pinyon-juniper woodland in Nye County. Using data from the Southwest Regional GAP Analysis Project, the areas with potential for pinyon-juniper biomass in Nye County are depicted on the map (shown right).

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Biomass Resources of the US
US map showing the estimated total biomass resources of the US per square kilometer (NREL, 2009). CLICK HERE for an enlarged version of the map, with legend.

Great Basin Pinyon-Juniper
Map of Nye County, Nevada showing the areas with potential for pinyon-juniper biomass (SW Regional GAP Analysis Project, 1991-2001). CLICK HERE for an enlarged version of the map, with legend.