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Friends of the Tonto National Forest –
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.

Greater Phoenix City Nature Challenge

Do you like observing nature? Then make your observations count and contribute to one of the largest scientific databases used by conservation organizations around the world! The Greater Phoenix City Nature Challenge is a friendly worldwide competition among cities to see whose residents can spot and identify the most wildlife. To participate, simply upload images of flora and fauna to the iNaturalist app between April 26th – 29th. This is the 4th year Greater Phoenix is participating and the bioblitz event is co-organized by Educating Children Outdoors, SciStarter, Maricopa Master Naturalists, and Arizona State University. Friends of the Tonto is a proud collaborator in this effort!

Join the project

Visit the website for more information including FAQs, events and training dates.

Invasive Plant Management

Our progress from October 2021 through April 3, 2022.

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 Invasive Plant Management event, sign a 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

Help Water the Milkweed

You can water milkweed seedlings at Larry Forbis Group 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! Information about the Milkweed for Monarchs Project may be found here.

Watch Susan Sridharan talk about the Monarch program here!

“Wildflowers and More” by local author Marianne Skov Jensen

A limited number of copies of this beautiful and informative floral photo identification guide, “Wildflowers and More”, were donated to FOTNF by a local author. You may get more information about the book and the author here. Proceeds from sales of the book will go towards the Friends of the Tonto’s Milkweed for Monarchs program.

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!