Short rotation woody crops are an integral component of regional and national energy portfolios, as well as a provider of essential ecosystem services such as biomass supplies, carbon sinks, clean water, and healthy soils. Developing environmental technologies that maximize these services is essential for ecological and social sustainability of rural and urban populations. To address this need, Forest Service scientists from the agency’s Northern Research Station and their partners synthesized nationwide research on ecosystem services (i.e., biomass production, carbon sequestration, soil protection) and development of environmental technologies (i.e., phytoremediation, urban afforestation, forest restoration, mine reclamation). These efforts were part of a comprehensive special issue in the scientific journal BioEnergy Research, which detailed recent and ongoing activities of the Forest Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Biomass Research Centers. The primary goal of the collective efforts described in the special issue is to develop systems and tools that can help to provide biofuels, bioenergy, and bioproducts while mitigating ecological degradation and thereby sustaining healthy ecosystems across the rural to urban continuum.