July17 , 2024

Chicken Ranch Rancheria Tribe and Yosemite Clean Energy Collaborate to Foster Renewable Energy in Tuolumne County


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In a groundbreaking partnership, Chicken Ranch Rancheria, a federally recognized Tribe since 1985, and renewable energy developer Yosemite Clean Energy, LLC (YCE) have expressed their mutual intent to develop a state-of-the-art gasification bioenergy facility in Tuolumne County, California.

The Tribe is dedicated to providing cultural, environmental, and economic development to its Tribal Members, and envisions a sustainable forest enterprise within its traditional territory. With a commitment to forest health restoration and fuel reduction, the Tribe supports the sustainable use of waste wood, which aligns seamlessly with Yosemite's goals of transforming forest and farm wood waste into renewable, carbon-negative fuels.

Yosemite, a leader in the renewable energy sector, has initiated the Tuolumne County Biomass facility project under the Yosemite Clean brand through its operating company, Yosemite Clean Energy Sierra, LLC (YCE Sierra). The company is at the forefront of technology, converting wood waste into synthetic gas, which is then utilized to produce renewable carbon-negative hydrogen. 

This landmark collaboration aims to build a 50-megawatt thermal plant facility near Chinese Camp, CA. The facility will process an estimated 90,000 bone dry tons (BDT) of material, leveraging forest biomass feedstocks annually. The goal is to convert this biomass into green (carbon-negative) hydrogen, facilitating a significant move towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Furthermore, both parties are engaged and seeking grant funding, like the Cal Fire Climate Change Investment funding, USDA Wood Innovations, California Department of Conservation Forest Biomass to H2 biomass fund, or federal grants, to ensure the viability and success of the project.

Highlighting the broader implications, this project is poised to offer numerous community and environmental benefits, from job creation and economic growth to sustainable forest management and a reduction of forest fuel hazards and the threat of catastrophic wildfires.

Both the Tribe and Yosemite are excited about the potential impact of this collaboration, not only for Tuolumne County but as a model for similar initiatives worldwide. They remain committed to working hand in hand with the local community, ensuring the project aligns with the best interests of all stakeholders. For further details on this partnership and the upcoming bioenergy facility, please contact YCE CEO Tom Hobby.


Established in 1985, the Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California is a federally recognized Tribe, committed to providing cultural, environmental, and economic development to its tribal members. Federal recognition in 1985 marked a turning point, and their commitment to self-sufficiency led to the establishment of a pioneering Native bingo hall, now a thriving casino, medical clinic, hotel, and tribal government building. The Tribe is dedicated to empowering future generations while fostering strong bonds with the non-native community.

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Contact Information:
Savanna Meinert
PR Manager
[email protected]
(559) 512-6551

Original Source: Chicken Ranch Rancheria Tribe and Yosemite Clean Energy Collaborate to Foster Renewable Energy in Tuolumne County