Following the closure of the Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Mine, a power plant and coal mine that provided a heating source to many Navajo and Hopi off-the-grid homes in Northern Arizona, the Forest Service began to see an uptick in firewood access requests from families who found themselves in an energy transition. At the same time, it is a challenge to find places to bring small-diameter wood from Forest restoration projects on National Forests to complete needed restoration work.
Working with the Forest Service, Tribal governments and communities, and other partners, the NFF is connecting small-diameter timber from Forest restoration projects with Tribal partners through the Wood for Life partnership. Through this partnership, we have increased our Forest restoration efforts by clearing out hazardous wood from project sites while ensuring it is distributed to Tribal communities who can use it to heat and power their off-the-grid homes.
The Wood for Life partnership was recently recognized as the winner of the Citizen Stewardship and Partnerships award by the Forest Service’s Volunteers and Service Awards. The NFF accepted the award on behalf of the entire partnership.
Interest in the Wood for Life program has grown, and the effort now spans the Four Corners Region. New partnerships on the San Juan and Santa Fe National Forests will continue to connect small-diameter wood from restoration projects to those who can use it to heat and power their homes.
Cover photo by Joe Kurle.
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