Friends of the Tonto National Forest is a 501(c)3 Non-profit Organization

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Wilderness Stewardship Program

Arnett Creek Project

On April 27, 2017 - five students from Prescott College, Brian Stutz of

Arizona Wilderness Coalition (AWC), and Georgy Naimoli  & Patti Fenner from Friends of the Tonto NF (FOTNF) mapped saltcedar and oleander from Arnett Creek to Telegraph Canyon.  The mapping was a continuation of the mapping for the first phase of the project to control these two woody invasive plants in a narrow steep reach of Telegraph Canyon. Oleander in the canyon is dense and reaches a height exceeding 20 feet.


Photos from Arnett Creek Oleander removal project.

Arizona Wilderness Coalition, Arizona Trail Association and Friends of the Tonto NF joining together to remove Oleander, a non-native threat to the native plants.

Crews worked Nov 18, 19 and 20 to identify, cut, treat with herbicide and remove the cuttings from the area.

Photos by Tom Story

Friends (and our Friends) Awarded a Grant to Manage Invasive Species Along Arnett Creek


Earlier this year, when Brian Stultz of the Arizona Wilderness Coalition called the Tonto National Forest to inquire if they were interested in applying for a grant to control invasive species in riparian areas, he was referred immediately to the Friends of the Tonto.  The Friends worked with Globe Ranger District employees to develop a project to remove both saltcedar and oleander along a mile of Arnett Creek.  Arnett Creek is a pretty little ribbon of green that runs through the low desert west of the town of Superior, near the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

In addition to the Arizona Wilderness Coalition and the Friends, other partners in this project are:


Backcountry Horsemen – who will contribute by packing in herbicide and saw equipment

Arizona Trails Association – who will do GPS work, provide volunteer labor for work crews, and purchase interpretive signs

Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust – cash for travel and work trips

Prescott College – volunteer work crew labor

Tonto National Forest – staff resource specialist time for project consultation


The Friends’ contribution will be 10 person days of monitoring (in the form of riparian photopoint monitoring), and outreach and education for the public about the Arnett project.

The grant, funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Foundation, is called the Five Star and Urban Water Restoration Program.  We found out in July that our project will be funded.  This grant will give us the opportunity to accomplish some real work on the Forest, in cooperation with great partners.  The project also aligns with our mission of public education – we will be conducting at least one public hike down Arnett to tell people about the harm that invasive species cause, and what can be done to manage these invasive plants.


To see reference photos taken before removing the invasive plants click here.


Updated Map of Invasive Plants

Friends of the Tonto National Forest  4022 E. Greenway Road  Suite 11 Box 348  Phoenix, AZ  85032