The United States Biochar Initiative (USBI) was launched in 2009 as a not-for-profit organization to promote and ensure the sustainable production and use of biochar through research, policy, technology and doing it!
For the past three years, we have held conferences in Iowa and California that allow hundreds of biochar enthusiasts to share their findings and best practices with each other. Additionally, the conferences provide the opportunity for investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, decision-makers, policy analysts, engineers, growers, producers, users, and students with the latest biochar advancements and innovations and to connect.
What is biochar? Biochar is charcoal intended for putting in soils. It’s made in limited-oxygen pyrolysis ovens from primarily waste biomass, capturing almost all emissions and producing heat and power in the process. Biochar’s amazing capacity to hold moisture and nutrients amends soil and increases primary productivity. It reduces soil off-gassing significantly while sequestering carbon for thousands of years.
Biomass-to-energy grows in popularity as the availability of affordable fossil fuels shrink. Biomass consuming projects, including biochar, must champion positive life-cycle assessments, create sustainable pathways for use of waste biomass in balance with leaving the biomass necessary for ecosystem health, and, avoid conversion of valuable croplands and forests.
All of this work is contextualized in human’s relationship to their landscapes and responsibility to future generations of all species. A paradigm shift to protect our climate and environment requires making these issues real to people by connecting our shared environment with their lives, their lands and their grandchildren.
Meet Gloria Flora, Sustainable Obtainable Solutions
Gloria works for public land sustainability through her organization, Sustainable Obtainable Solutions (www.s-o-solutions.org), focusing on large landscape conservation, national and international state-based climate change solutions, place-based transition movements, and promoting the sustainable production and use of biochar through the U.S. Biochar Initiative. In addition to encouraging and supporting many regional conferences, USBI has held national conferences in Colorado, Iowa and California.
In her 23 years with the U.S. Forest Service, she served as the Forest Supervisor on two national forests. She’s won multiple awards for her leadership, courage and environmental stewardship.