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Cooperative Effort Helps Keep Navajo Families Supplied With Firewood

Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

Winter storms have finally arrived in Arizona, bringing cold temperatures up north, but a new program helps keep members of the Navajo Nation supplied in firewood.

In the winter, temperatures on the Navajo Nation can get down to single digits. Most homes on the reservation are heated with wood stoves, but wood can be hard to come by. Dr. Sophia Calderon from Tuba City Regional Health Care spoke about the program in a Nature Conservancy video. 

“There are a lot of families in the community that need firewood, and pretty much, most homes here burn firewood to keep their homes warm. With COVID here, the need is dramatically more,” Calderon said.

So several groups banded together to get wood to the reservation. The U.S. Forest Service is using wood that it gathered from thinning forests to reduce wildfire risk.

→  Helping Navajo Elders, Homeless Flagstaff Residents Survive The Northern Arizona Winter

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.