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Partnerships that Meet Community Needs

by | Aug 2, 2020

Dead and down wood stacked and awaiting pickup 

Partnerships That Meet Community Needs

July 2020 is the quietest July our Base Camp has seen in decades–no summer treks, no Rendezvous, no school groups–but we’ve kept

Ancestral Lands crew

ourselves plenty busy. In addition to several infrastructure projects (see the base camp updates article for more details) and many discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion, we have been building and expanding partnerships to better serve our local community.   
 
In our last e-newsletter, you may have read about our food distribution work in partnership with the Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief effort. On top of that, we’ve identified another important resource on our property: wood. Many Navajo families within driving distance of Base Camp rely on wood for heating and cooking, and we have plenty to spare. Over the last 20 years, we have invested time and money to improve our forest health, which usually means selectively thinning overgrown stands of ponderosa, pinon, and juniper trees. Because of that thinning work, we have an abundance of wood lying on the ground. 
 
What are we doing with that wood? 
 

An Ancestral Lands crew member cutting

Over the last two months, youth crews from the Ancestral Lands program have spent time at Cottonwood Gulch camping, training, practicing healthy social distancing, and making our excess wood more accessible. Ancestral Lands crews have thinned overgrown forest and bucked, hauled, and piled many cords of wood, ready to disperse to people who need it. To ensure the wood gets where it is needed most, we have been in conversation with an organization called Chizh for Cheii (which translates roughly as “Wood for Grandfather”) about transporting the wood effectively to elders and families on the Navajo Nation. This project has the added benefit of reducing the fire risk for our property and our neighbors.
 
All the partners listed above–the Navajo-Hopi Families Relief effort, Ancestral Lands, and Chizh for Cheii–are grassroots organizations in need of funding. Cottonwood Gulch is also in need of funding to continue our side of the partnership, and if you’re able to support our partner organizations as well, we are confident your donation will make a big difference.