Machine being tested could replace slash fires

A Place for All

By Bebe Crouse

The Nature Convervancy

You may have seen a strange piece of machinery being towed through the area recently. It looks like a rail car-size dumpster mounted on tank treads. It's called a Tigercat Carbonator. It has nothing to do with producing fizzy beverages, but it will turn the woody slash piles left after forest thinning into a charcoal-like amendment that helps soil hold onto moisture and nutrients.

The Nature Conservancy, public agencies and private landowners have experimented with producing small amounts of biochar, but we wanted to find a way to take the process to a lar...


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