Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Science and Innovations

Forest, Tribal Partnership Supplies Firewood To Hopi And Navajo

Melissa Sevigny

A unique partnership is addressing a home heating crisis on the Navajo and Hopi Nations, by supplying hundreds of cords of firewood from forest restoration projects. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

When the Navajo Generating Station shut down last year, Navajos and Hopis no longer had access to coal to heat their homes. The U.S. Forest Service is working with the tribes and nonprofit groups to offer firewood as an alternative source of fuel.

Sasha Stortz of the nonprofit National Forest Foundation says the project benefits watershed and forest health as well as people. "The small-diameter timber from forest restoration treatments can sometimes be a challenge to remove and to find markets for," Stortz says. "So there’s a really clear opportunity here with a supply and the need for fuelwood."

Nearly 300 cords of firewood have been delivered so far from the Coconino National Forest with more on the way from the Coconino and Kaibab. The program also gives jobs to Native workers with Ancestral Lands crews. It’s funded by donations through the Northern Arizona Forest Fund. More information here:

Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.
Related Content