All Rights Reserved ©2012 SouthWest Tradition Log Homes, Inc.
Out of Fire and Ashes
Jobs and Businesses for the Diné
by Michael J Chudzik ©2012
Cameron, AZ - In the year 2000, as fires swept over millions of acres of western U.S. forests, a new idea was being born in an alliance of Navajo leaders, the USDA, and the NAU College of Forestry. The idea was to turn the surplus trees being thinned to protect Arizona forests into a business supporting Diné (Navajo) jobs and much needed housing. Thus, was born the parent program that became SouthWest Tradition Log Homes (SWT), affectionately nicknamed by the Diné People as, “The Navajo Log Hogan Project”.
Saving The Forests - - The trees used by SWT for log home construction are obtained from local national and state forests fire mitigation programs. These are small diameter trees (less than 10”) that are being thinned to protect older trees and native forest habitat form raging wildfire destruction. In essence, SWT logs are made from trees that have been sacrificed for the greater good of nature. These smaller diameter trees are not commercially attractive enough to timber companies and lumber mills. As a result, if these trees cannot be used locally, they are ground into chips and left in the forests, or burned as slash. Even most log home manufacturers are not interested in the logs because they prefer to buy large logs, and then ironically square them, before shaping them back into smaller round logs again. They believe this is the only way to make a uniform house log.
The SWT Navajo Log Hogan Project is one of the few enterprises in the country that has successfully mixed ingenuity with the latest high-technology to develop a system capable of doing what few other log home manufacturers can do: make uniform shaped house logs while taking only an inch off of the average diameter of a round log - thus giving these “sacrificial” trees a new life by becoming part of someone’s home for the next 150 years or more.
Navajo Jobs and Businesses - - At its peak, SouthWest Traditional Log Homes is hoping to create close to 50 new full-time jobs for Native American workers and business owners through the factory and in the local economy. This would include increasing employment and business for contractors, building trades people, loan officers and support-business entrepreneurs - all local people, who can invest their incomes into new homes and back local businesses.
While the 8-sided Navajo hogan (”hoogahn”) has been their star attraction, customer demands have also led to a new expanding line of traditional log homes - as well as logs and timbers for custom builders, architects, the public, and suppliers. Commercial & public projects are increasing, as well.
SouthWest Tradition Log Homes serves everyone and ships anywhere in the world. For more information about purchasing Navajo log homes, visit www.swtloghomes.com or call Ron Taylor at SouthWest Tradition Log Homes in Cameron, Arizona at (928) 679-2031.
Written by Michael J Chudzik, project marketing consultant (503)679-2165
Press Release - 2012 - Available for Immediate Release