The Tonto National Forest covers 2.9 million acres, so managing it takes plenty of people! We have a variety of projects and needs for volunteers, with opportunities for larger groups. Some of our needs are as follows:
- Riparian Photopoint: Held April – September each year, volunteers take photographs of selected sites throughout the Tonto. The Forest Service, and ecologists who do research on the Tonto, compare these photos to photos taken in the past. This allows them to determine impacts by livestock and wildlife, improvement in conditions through livestock management, results of flooding, fire and drought, and overall changes in the environment year over year.
- Invasive Plant Removal: Non-native plants pose threats to the desert ecosystem, adding fuel to wildfires and competing with native plants for resources. Volunteers work on designated sites in the Superstition Mountains to remove invasive grasses.
- Milkweed for Monarchs: Milkweed is a vital plant for monarch butterflies, as monarch caterpillars rely on it as a food source. Volunteers help with planting, watering and monitoring milkweed.
- Cave Creek Trail System Maintenance: Volunteers help us return this trail system to its full potential by helping with light trail brushing and fiberglass trail marker installation.
- Water Source Inventory: Volunteers help Friends inventory developed water sources on the Tonto National Forest including windmills, springs and stock tanks.
- Adopt-a-Site: Assist the Forest Service in maintaining a Developed Recreation Site by removing weeds, debris and trash, painting, cleaning picnic tables and removing graffiti.
- Archaeology: Friends work on several significant archaeological sites in the Tonto, and help is needed to remove overgrown vegetation and to perform general site maintenance.
- General help with organizational operations: From social media to website design, grant writing, membership, data management – we need help everywhere!
Spend time giving back to the Tonto National Forest. We have fun working together with people who enjoy being outdoors as much as we do! To volunteer, fill out the Volunteer form and we’ll be in touch with more details. Do you have an idea for a project on the Tonto? Feel free to share it with us by filling out the Project Proposal Form.