Our Mission

Friends of the Tonto National Forest is a group of volunteers who assist the Forest in its critical mission of natural and cultural resource and visitor use management. We promote public understanding of the Tonto National Forest’s policies, programs and projects.

Superstition Mountains Project

First, to participate in any Superstition Mountains event, sign a Superstition Mountains Liability Waiver form. The liability waiver is valid for the season.  Second, it is important that you become familiar with the safety requirements which can be seen here Safety Analysis.

Removal Events

Look what we do at a Removal Event!

Events are planned for every 2nd and 4th Saturday from October through April.

You can easily complete the required registration for the removal events at Removal Event Registration. We meet at different times and locations as shown in the event registration form. Additional dates will be added to the registration form as soon as the locations are determined.

Mapping and Monitoring

Mapping and monitoring is a great way to get outside and explore on your own schedule.  With the addition of the Superstition Fire Burn Area, we are asking for more volunteers to participate in this ongoing activity.  We’ll use ArcGIS Field Maps which is a free app for your smart device.  There are 4 species of non-native plants we’ll be monitoring — fountain grass, buffelgrass, stinknet and Sahara mustard. Depending on the time of year, they are quite easy to learn to recognize.  Since the plants are seasonal, there will be an opportunity and need to cover the same territory multiple times. 

Additional Training sessions will be scheduled in 2022.

Be ready for training: Bring your smart device with ArcGIS Field Maps and a Map Area already downloaded. You can view YouTube videos showing how to download ArcGIS Field Maps and the NNP Survey with Burn Area map. Email don@friendsofthetonto.org for the map password and to let him know that you plan to attend.

We look forward to seeing you in the fantastic Superstition Mountains.

Fountain Grass Brochure – download and share!


Help water the milkweed

You can water milkweed seedlings at Phon D Sutton Recreation Site on the Lower Salt River or at Rattlesnake Cove at Barlett Lake on the Cave Creek Ranger District. Sign up to water here!


AVAILABLE now! Butterfly and Wildflower Field ID Book

“Wildflowers, Butterflies and More” by local author Marianne Skov Jensen.

The author donated a limited number of this beautiful and informative field guide to Friends of the Tonto. 

Marianne Jensen moved to Arizona in 1995. She was struck by the diversity and beauty of the Sonoran desert.  Seeing the need for a small-sized field guide to local flora, she embarked on creating a new guide.  This little book contains hundreds of photos of flowers that can be found in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The flower photos are paired with photos of butterflies that frequent them.  

Proceeds from sales of her book will go toward the Friends of the Tonto’s Milkweed for Monarchs program. The program focuses on monarch butterfly habitat restoration and monitoring, and public education about this remarkable animal.

Cost:  $20 + shipping and handling


Meet Urb Weidner, Friends’ Board Secretary

Urb Weidner

Originally from Chicago, IL, Urb worked there following his graduation from the U. of Illinois and military service where served as a Captain in the US Army Ordinance Corps. A love for the outdoors was developed following relocation with his family to MN. Later, having moved to the north shoreline of Lake Superior, he frequented the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and often hiked on the nearby Superior Hiking Trail. Urb also lived for several years in Asia (Hong Kong & Singapore).

Upon arriving in AZ, Urb has been an active board member of the Sierra Club Saguaro Group for 15 years. His current role is leadership of the Group service projects, which include trail maintenance on the Maricopa Trail and at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area; maintenance support to Wild at Heart Raptor Rescue and SW Wildlife Conservation Area; and leading Sierra Club support of the Photopoint program and Milkweed planting in the Tonto.

Get to know others who serve on the Friends’ Board

Upcoming Events


Volunteer on the Tonto National Forest

Become a Member

The best way to support Friends of the Tonto National Forest is to become a member.

Donate

Learn more about all the ways you can donate to Friends of the Tonto National Forest!