Winnie Hanseth of Lumberyard Brewing Company in Flagstaff, Arizona

The arrival of fall always brings colorful leaves, brisk air, creative costumes and festive gatherings to northern Arizona. This season, The Nature Conservancy is joining the fun with OktoberForest, a collaboration with local breweries to raise awareness about the important role that forests play in our water supply. We asked Winnie Hanseth, Owner of Lumberyard Brewing Company in Flagstaff, Arizona to share her story.


Hi Winnie. Why do brewers like you care about Arizona’s forests?


Healthy forests are key to our success because forested lands and Flagstaff’s water supply are very connected. Flagstaff is surrounded by the largest continuous ponderosa pine forest in the world and 100 percent of the city’s water supplies come from these forested lands.

A healthy ponderosa pine forest is not only a beautiful place for hiking and playing, but it provides the clean water and outdoor recreation opportunities that drive much of the local economy. Unfortunately, our forest is at risk of unnaturally catastrophic fires that often have great impacts on our local water quantity and quality.

The 2010 Shultz Fire shut down a municipal water line for over a year and caused devastating flood events to the Flagstaff community.

Restoring Arizona’s forests helps prevent the damaging fires that can cause real harm to the water we need. Without ample, clean fresh water, brewers like us simply couldn’t continue to operate.


Tell us how Flagstaff’s water supply is unique?


Flagstaff’s water is very special due to its high quality. Lumberyard Brewing Company does not need to do any additional treatment of the city water supply.


How are you caring for Arizona’s Forests?


In 1976 my family donated 38 acres of forest on the peaks to the Flagstaff Unified School District creating Camp Colton. We continue to support and guide the science-based education programs and forest access that has been made available to grade school students for over 40 years.

In 1994 my family gifted Hart Prairie Preserve’s 245 acres to The Nature Conservancy, 15 miles north west of Flagstaff. We greatly value the restoration projects on the preserve and the partnerships The Nature Conservancy is developing across the larger landscape to help restore Arizona’s forests.


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