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On the street in Black Forest

Editorís note: This is a new series focused on people in Black Forest. Every month, Breeanna Jent will randomly choose someone hanging out somewhere in Black Forest and ask them a few fun questions. We will change up the questions each month.On a sunny Saturday afternoon in October, The New Falcon Herald spotted Len Lankford, founder and owner of Greenleaf Forestry & Wood Products, standing in front of his showroom, which is just off Black Forest Road and next door to R&R Cafe.Lankfordís primary business focus is thinning forests, but he also makes and sells wood products (he provided the wood for R&R Cafe). He also has a tree nursery and consults on forestry. Lankford, who celebrates his 70th birthday this month, agreed to answer a few questions about living and doing business in Black Forest.NFH: How long have you lived in Black Forest?Lankford: Since about 2012. I started coming out here as a private forester in 1978. I was a ìtraveling forester,î you could say. I would literally camp out and take a shower at the local truck stop and then go to work. I also stayed with friends, but then in 2012, I moved out here.NFH: What brought you to Black Forest?Lankford: In 1978, I was a private forester and received a call from a Black Forest property owner interested in forestry on his property. In that process, I was constantly coming out here. I worked on 6,500 acres (thinning the forest). That property has been split up now. In 2013, I was still working on that property when the Black Forest Fire hit.NFH: What do you like most about living in Black Forest?Lankford: This (business) location has a lot of walk-ins, and I like talking to people. I also like that thereís potential for creativity here. Our business, for example, did the interior of the R&R cafÈ, and provided the wood. Some of it comes from Black Forest.NFH: Whereís your favorite spot in Black Forest and what makes it so special?Lankford: My favorite spot in Black Forest is probably this one. Iím working with it and making it into something. I also like the (Black Forest Community Center) where they host the Black Rose event.NFH: Whatís your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?Lankford: I was born on Thanksgiving ñ- Nov. 28. So the best is when Thanksgiving falls on my birthday, because then I get cherry pie. More than that, though, my favorite thing is to go to the mountains in West Cliffe.

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