Fallen trees become firewood for local pueblos

Mitigation project stokes kiva fireplaces and woodstoves in the region

November 9, 2020

Tribal members of the San Ildefonso Pueblo load firewood into their trucks on October 30, 2020.

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Nov. 9, 2020—On a recent Friday, trucks were lined up early near the Los Alamos National Laboratory fire station as tribal members of San Ildefonso, Cochiti, Jemez, and Santa Clara Pueblos waited for their turn to pick up their shares of more than 150 cords of wood. As a result of a high wind event in 2019, approximately 2,500 trees that had fallen within Laboratory property were removed. As part of this fire-mitigation project, felled trees that were not usable for timber or lumber were processed for firewood. Crews cut the logs into blocks that were 14-18 inches long, so the bounty could be shared with our neighbors.

“Recent events have made it more challenging for New Mexicans to gather firewood,” said Laboratory Director Thom Mason. “The Laboratory is grateful that our Pueblo partners can put the wood to good use again this year.”

Tribal members of the four local Pueblos came on-site and loaded as much wood as they could safely carry on their trucks and trailers. Laboratory employees were on hand to direct traffic and assist with logistics and security.

“This is the second year in a row that we’ve done this,” said Jim Jones, project manager for fire mitigation at the Laboratory, “and I hope that we can continue it in future years if material is available. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

About Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is managed by Triad, a public service oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), and the Regents of the University of California (UC) for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.