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Wood for Life program receives $2 million in federal infrastructure funds


A program that provides firewood to homes in tribal communities from forest thinning projects has received $2 million in federal funding from last year’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Officials say the funds will have a significant impact on people who rely on wood to heat their homes and reduce wildfire risk.

“The work of Wood for Life and its partners is vital to tribal communities and the health of the nation’s forests and grasslands,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore. “This funding will have a significant impact for those that rely on firewood as a source of heat and offer job opportunities and skills building for youth in forestry. The Wood for Life project is a great model that can hopefully be expanded to support the health and wellness of tribal communities across the country.”

In all, the U.S. Forest Service will invest more than $10 million in the Wood for Life program over the next five years.

The agency says it’s committed to increasing investments in historically underserved communities.

The thinning work will be done mainly by Native youth and veteran crews on the Coconino National Forest and San Juan National Forest in southwest Colorado.

Officials are exploring the possibility of expanding the Wood for Life program into other states and tribal communities.

It served thousands of families in 2022.