Northern Arizona Forest Fund
Without intervention, the health of our forests and watersheds will continue to decline, and high-severity wildfires and increased degradation of our water ways will only get worse. The Northern Arizona Forest Fund (NAFF) was established in partnership between the Salt River Project (SRP) and the NFF to address these declining forest health concerns in the Salt and Verde River watersheds which are the sources of irrigation, commercial, and municipal water supplies for millions of Arizonans in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan area.
The NAFF provides an easy way for businesses and residents of Arizona to invest in the lands and watersheds they depend on. These are the special places that are the source of our drinking water, the places we go to in the hot summer months, and the home to many valuable species of fish and wildlife.
We all benefit from the restoration of the watersheds, and we all have a role to play!
With declining forest health and tighter federal budgets, local partnerships and active stewardship are more critical than ever. The NAFF’s projects will reduce wildfire risk, improve streams and wetlands, enhance wildlife habitat, restore native plants, and limit erosion and sediment into Arizona streams, rivers, and reservoirs. The NAFF’s projects will also create jobs and provide volunteer opportunities in local communities through partnerships with local conservation and stewardship groups.
Tribal Fuelwood Program: Forest restoration + collaboration = helping neighbors in need
The benefits of forest restoration projects go beyond improving forest health and resilience, they provide crucial products for neighbors in need. Forest thinning is used to help restore the forest structure pattern and resilience. Some of the removed trees are used to create products that sustain life and economic development for neighboring communities.
In Northern Arizona, tribes rely on wood to heat homes and cook food. Unfortunately, not all tribal members have the resources or ability to collect and transport the wood from the forest to the reservation. However, a little collaboration can go a long way and provide a long term sustantiable supply of fuelwood from restoration projects to tribal communities.
This year, a collaborative effort between the USDA Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Forest Foundation (NFF), Joe Dirt Excavating, Tribal Extension agents from the University of Arizona, Volunteer from GORE, and Tribal partners have provided life sustaining wood supplies to the Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation. This collaborative effort creates a win-win situation where national forests become healthier through thinning and tribes get the wood they need.
These efforts have been coordinated by the Forest Service and the National Forest Foundation with funds from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the University of Arizona Tribal Extension Programs and donations to the National Forest Foundation. This collaborative group welcomes new partners that wish to join this initiative to provide crucial wood to tribal members in need.