By JIM MIMIAGA
DOLORES, Colo. (AP) — A pilot project between the San Juan National Forest, the Chinle Chapter of the Navajo Nation, the National Forest Foundation and Weston Backcountry is producing firewood from forest thinning projects for residents in the nation’s Chinle area. Called San Juan Wood for Life, the program helps forest health needs as well as the elderly in Chinle who depend on firewood for heat. One challenge facing forest thinning projects is that the market for smaller timber is tiny. The Chinle Chapter has participated in the Wood For Life program with Arizona’s Coconino and Kaibab National Forests in the past. It was chosen for the San Juan program because of existing distribution networks.