Wood For Life Tribal Fuelwood Initiative

Connecting restoration with Tribal communities

The NFF is working to expand the benefits of forest restoration treatments in the Four Corners Region to Tribal communities in need of fuelwood for heating, cooking, and traditional uses through the Wood for Life Tribal Fuelwood Initiative.

Working with the Forest Service, Tribal governments and communities, Ancestral Lands conservation corps, and other partners, we are connecting small diameter timber from restoration projects led by NFF and the Forest Service with Tribal partners who split the wood and provide it to elders and other community members.

Hopi and Navajo communities are facing a home-heating crisis with the closure of the Navajo Generating Station, a coal fired power plant, and the local coal mine that provided an energy source for many off-the-grid homes. COVID-19 impacts have also brought challenges to Tribal communities across the region, as social distancing and stay-at-home orders make wood hauling more difficult.

At the same time, finding places to bring small diameter timber from forest restoration projects on National Forests can be a challenge. Leaving piled wood on a restoration project site for more than a few months is discouraged because of fire and insect infestation risk, and removing wood from a project site is a major issue that can delay or prevent needed restoration from moving forward.

Together, we’re building a partnership that can help sustainably meet Tribal fuelwood needs and enhances our ability to conduct forest restoration projects across the region.

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Sasha Stortz, Arizona Program Manager, at 928.961.0318 or sstortz@nationalforests.org