1 | Wood For Life

Wood for Life

Tribal Fuelwood Initiative

Photo by Jen Magnuson Photography

Connecting Restoration With Tribal Communities

In short—Wood For Life uses wood from forest restoration efforts to fuel Indigenous communities that rely on firewood to heat their homes. We are salvaging small-diameter timber removed in fire prevention efforts from the national forests and donating it to Indigenous communities to assist in heating homes.


"It’s a win-win situation. One, we’re providing fuel to our community. Two, we’re actively engaging as stewards of the land on projects that are being initiated by organizations like the National Forest Foundation and the Forest Service. To me it’s a perfect example of how nonprofits, NGOs, and agency partners can work together," said Marshall Masayesva, Hopi Program Manager for Ancestral Lands.

Photo by U.S. Forest Service

Where are the current Wood For Life programs?

The Wood for Life program is active in Northern Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Idaho, in partnership with Navajo, Hopi, Ute, Shoshone-Paiute, and Shoshone Bannock Tribes and communities. Partners are exploring possibilities to further expand.

How do I become a Wood For Life partner?

We appreciate your interest in becoming a Wood For Life partner. Click here to learn more about the Northern Arizona Wood For Life Partnership and see how you can get involved.

Photo by U.S. Forest Service

Wood for Life Partnership Awarded the Volunteer and Service Citizen Stewardship and Partnerships Award

The Wood for Life partnership was awarded the Volunteer and Service Citizen Stewardship and Partnerships Award by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service for its innovative work to bring warmth to indigenous homes. The National Forest Foundation accepted the award on behalf of the partnership in a ceremony in Flagstaff in October 2022.

Southwest Region

Photo by Joe Kurle

We work to connect wood from restoration projects on the Kaibab, Coconino, and Santa Fe National Forests with Indigenous communities and nonprofits in the four corners region.

Click here to learn more about the Northern Arizona Wood For Life Partnership.

Rocky Mountain Region

Photo by U.S. Forest Service

In Colorado, we are working with the San Juan National Forest, local contractors, Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps, and Southwest Conservation Corps to transport the byproducts of forest restoration projects to neighboring Indigenous communities.

Intermountain Region

Photo by Mark Solon

In Idaho, we are transporting wood byproducts from restoration projects on the Sawtooth, Boise, and Payette National Forests to the Shoshone-Paiute and Shoshone-Bannock tribes for distribution to elders and other vulnerable community members. We are actively working to expand this program to additional tribes in the region.


Maddie Smith, Wood for Life Coordinator (Southwest Region), at [email protected]

Marlee Ostheimer, Northern Rockies Program Manager (Idaho), at [email protected]

Nick Olson, Southwest Colorado Project Coordinator (Rocky Mountain Region), at [email protected]

Matthew Podolinsky, Utah Recreation Program Coordinator (Utah), at [email protected]

Katlyn Lonergan, Eastern Sierra & Great Basin Program Coordinator, at [email protected]