A collaboration between the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold
Mining Company and local organizations that help needy country
residents is helping warm hearts and homes alike this winter.

Using private contractors, the mine will be hauling in wood
chips from the county’s Divide slash mulch collection site to mix
with soil that is being saved to use for land reclamation after the
gold is removed.

“We’ll have all those trucks coming up here and we didn’t want
to return them empty so we’ll be loading them up with logs,” said
Mark Vanoni, the mine’s senior environmental coordinator who added
that he has played only a miniscule role in the collaboration.

The mine has been taking logs its employees have cleared from
mine land to Victor for firewood for quite a while but these trucks
will be hauling wood to Help the Needy in Woodland Park and to
Florissant Fire & Rescue in Florissant.

Florissant Fire Chief Chad Bauer said the department isn’t the
big organization, Help the Needy is.

“Right now we’re helping an elderly woman who is raising two
teenagers,” he said. “We help two or three families a year with
firewood. During the holidays, the department also delivers gift
and food baskets to needy Florissant families that have been
identified by the sheriff’s office.”

For Florissant Fire, the gift of logs serves two purposes. First
it helps local families that might not have enough firewood to keep
them going through the winter. Second, it’s a training

“We cut the logs into suitable lengths and split them for the
families,” Bauer said. “The firefighters learn how to use chainsaws

Help the Needy also gives out firewood to the needy, especially
in the Woodland Park area. This gift of logs helps them provide
more help in these difficult times.

“We want to give firewood to people but our insurance only
allows mine employees to cut timber on mining land,” Vanoni said.
“This is the next best thing.”

Other local organizations also provide firewood for people. One
of these is the Lions Camp located north of Woodland Park on Colo.
67. As a byproduct of the camp’s forest fuels mitigation project,
logs and slash have been made available to the public. In addition,
U.S. Forest Service fuels mitigation projects also sometimes result
in firewood for the public.

People who have firewood to donate or families who need firewood
can call Help the Needy at 687-7273 or visit www.htntc.org.

People who need help with heating this winter can call the 2-1-1
Call Center to get referrals to local agencies that can help.