The Neighborwood Program is designed to provide the general public with a place to experience the benefits of forest stewardship firsthand through hard work in an inspiring natural setting.
The spirit of volunteerism is central to the success of the program and to the many communities – human, vegetable, and animal – that benefit from diversity at the Little White Salmon Biodiversity Reserve.
Presently, the abundance of fuel in the forest due to years of fire suppression is presenting a scenario in which native oak communities are being threatened by the over-abundant Douglas-fir canopy. Loss of the oak community impacts spotted owl populations, squirrels, insects and numerous other organisms. The program aims to mitigate this problem by taking the fire out of the summer through removal of fuel from the forest floor during the winter.
Beyond reducing the risk of forest fires, Neighborwood delivers an emission-free, locally generated, and renewable heat source to the community. The Neighborwood Program also donates fuel to seniors and familiesin need, and sells firewood to the Portland market. Cordwood sales support the not-for-profit wildlife refuge.
Volunteers are the key players in manifesting the stewardship goals of this important program while helping themselves to the wild buffet of firewood. The regular work-for-wood exchange for friends of the refuge involves physical labor in habitat creation, trail blazing, hauling and splitting wood, loading the truck, and burning man-made stumps. A working day (9 to 4) entitles volunteers to draw half a cord of seasoned firewood from the “wood bank”.
Firewood is only one of among many honorable by-products of good stewardship. For not a few the most valuable acquisition is the experience of a quiet day with new friends in the forest. The wood itself is a gift of nature and the generosity of an abundant ecosystem.
If you are interested in volunteering, purchasing firewood to support biodiversity, or making a donation to this important program, please contact us at: info AT forestandfarm.org