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

The Tonto National Forest’s

Riparian Photopoint Program

Looking for volunteers!


This project has a history of nearly 30 years --  the first Riparian Specialist hired by the Tonto National Forest knew the value of repeat photography in documenting resource conditions.  He had the foresight to initiate a riparian photopoint progam in 1988 --  finding important reaches of streamside vegetation and taking clear photographs of the vegetation and streambanks, annually if possible, at the same exact sites each year.  The Forest, and ecologists who do research on the Tonto have come to depend upon information these photos provide – impacts by livestock, or improvement in conditions through livestock management, wildlife impacts, results of flooding, fire and drought.  These photos provide documentation of resource conditions, which is used for natural resource management decisions.  While data is important, it’s true that nothing tells a story like a good photograph.


The program grew under succeeding riparian specialists to over 800 sites photographed by an outstanding group of volunteer photographers who enjoy regular visits to their stream sites.


The program has now been passed to the Friends of the Tonto National Forest.  We are continuing the program with the same attention to quality that riparian specialists and long-time volunteers on the Forest have had.  Under Friends of the Tonto’s management, the photopoint map and associated photos have been made available for the public to see –


Check out the interactive map.   New photos are added to it each year.


The photopoint season is from mid-April to June for lower elevation sites and end of May to July for higher elevation sites.   And we need volunteers!  You don’t need a special camera, you can even use your smart phone.  You don’t even need a GPS unit – most smart phones can have apps that will read out GPS coordinates.  You don’t need a four-wheel drive vehicle (although you do need it for some sites).  If you like to get out, or if you need a good excuse to get out – here’s your opportunity!


Training Sessions have been completed for 2017.  Please contact us if you are interested.

Any Questions?  Please contact us here.

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