On Wednesday, October 11, multiple partners from the Wood For Life (WFL) partnership joined the Torreon chapter house of the Navajo Nation to recognize and showcase the WFL program, highlight investments made in rural communities, and provide the opportunity for sharing successes and challenges with other Tribal Nations and Pueblos.
The National Forest Foundation, U.S. Forest Service, and partners from the Rio Chama Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Project spoke to the need for forest health and fuels reduction efforts on the Santa Fe National Forest. In 2023, the Rock Creek Restoration Project, a wildfire risk reduction project located on the Cuba Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest, has been able to supply 60 loads of firewood to the Torreon, Ojo Encino, and Counselor Navajo Chapters.
“Wood For Life is a shining partnership example between the NFF and the Forest Service that truly delivers on our shared commitments to rural communities in northern New Mexico,” noted Santa Fe National Forest Deputy Forest Supervisor Jeff Marszal.
Vice President of the Navajo Nation, Richelle Montoya, was also in attendance for the recognition event and offered her support of the Wood For Life Program. “Wood For Life has the full support of the Navajo Nation,” VP Montoya stated of the growing program that now spans across New Mexico, Northern Arizona, Colorado, and Idaho.
Partners and community members highlighted the need and opportunity for additional support with processing the delivered logs into firewood after they have been dropped off. This has been a challenge for the WFL Program that often has relied on volunteers to process the firewood. The hope is that through additional investment into the communities to ensure they have the proper equipment and facilities needed to get the job done and expand wood availability to additional families and other Tribes and Pueblos.
Wood For Life is a growing program and partnership opportunity that pairs wood from much needed forest restoration efforts to fuel Indigenous communities that rely on firewood to heat their homes. Click here to learn more.
Cover photo by Liam Sullivan
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