Los Alamos National Labs with logo 2021

Firewood from storm-felled trees collected by members of neighboring pueblos

Laboratory donates 160 cords of wood
November 14, 2019
Pueblo members loading their firewood.

Pueblo members loading their firewood.


  • Director, Community Partnerships Office
  • Kathy Keith
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When Winter Storm Ulmer swept through the Los Alamos area on March 13 this year it downed around 3000 trees. During the week of October 21, the Lab invited members of the pueblos that share a boundary with the Lab to come and collect firewood from 300 of those trees.

At the direction of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Laboratory contracted with Jemez Pueblo to collect and cut the trees that blew down on Laboratory property, and segment some of those trees off to be rendered into firewood. Left where they fell, the drying trees presented an immediate fire hazard. The timber was cut into 14-18 inch pieces, and the 160 cords of wood created a pile around 80 feet long, 40 feet deep and six feet high.

Together with the NNSA Field Office, the Lab's Operations Directorate arranged for the wood to be made available to members of San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Jemez and Cochiti pueblos. Pueblo members pulled up their trucks, loaded the wood, and were on their way.

"Making the wood available to our pueblo neighbors worked out well for all of us," said Kelly Beierschmitt, deputy Laboratory director for Operations. "Together, we made sure something good came out of the damage from the storm."

Within three days of collections starting, all the wood had been collected, helping to keep some of our neighbors warm through this winter.