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

Removal Events

Look what we do at a Removal Event!

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

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.

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. 

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

Learn more about invasive plants and Defending the Desert

It’s Riparian Photopoint Season! 

To learn about this popular and important project, click on Projects at the top of your screen, and then select Riparian Photopoint

“The watershed program at the Tonto National Forest uses the riparian photopoints as an essential tool in our monitoring of riparian and stream health. Because we have a very limited staff, the photos volunteers take may be our only chance to “see” the stream in any year. When folks are careful to exactly replicate the photos from previous years, it provides us with an invaluable record of how the system is changing over time and helps us to make decisions about management, restoration, and where to put additional time and effort into monitoring.”

Kelly Mott LaCroix, Forest Hydrologist

Watch Urb Weidner talk about the importance of this project here!

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 today!

Watch Susan Shridharan talk about the Monarch program here!

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.


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