AHB researchers interviewed local stakeholders to learn if they thought a poplar-based bioindustry made sense in their communities. Would people grow enough poplar, if there was a market for it? Could poplar help local wastewater treatment plants or fit into flood mitigation efforts?
Stakeholders discussed the challenges facing local agriculture and the need for a new economic opportunity that “pencils out”. Given a convincing business model, they saw chances for win-win situations with landowners profiting from poplar on otherwise low-value acreage and achieving ecosystem services for wastewater or floodplain management. However, they also raised a number of questions and concerns that would need to be addressed before a poplar bioindustry could move forward.