411 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ
On June 7, the Arizona Republic described the 22,962 acre Juniper Fire in the Sierra Ancha Mountains as "the ideal Arizona wildfire." At that time, the projected footprint of the fire was 80,000 acres, which, even by today's standards is relatively large. In the end, the fire would burn 30,631 acres. Should we still consider this fire "ideal," and why, or why not?
In 1925, the USDA Forest Service established research plots in the Sierra Ancha Mountains north of Globe. By 1932 the research area was named the Parker Creek Experimental Forest. In 1938, this experimental forest (EF) was expanded and renamed the Sierra Ancha Experimental Forest, as it is known today.
The experimental forest now covers about 13,500 acres and ranges between 3,550 and 7,725 ft in elevation. Hydrologic records began after the Civilian Conservation Corps installed weirs and equipment in the 1930s.
Initially, its research mission was to study the effects of grazed and ungrazed vegetation on water yields and to learn more about water cycle relationships with its varying vegetation zones.
In 1985, the International Co-operative Program on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP) was launched under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) due to the growing public awareness of possible adverse effects of air pollution on forests.
In 2007 the US Forest Service chose to set up a synthesis network of 18 sites throughout the US with an ICP Level II platform at each site. The Sierra Ancha EF is the southernmost EF in the contiguous US, and is one of very few in the southwest.
Daniel G. Neary is the team leader of the the Southwest Science Team of the Air, Water and Aquatic Environments (AWAE) Program of the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Flagstaff. He has authored many publications, focusing recently on the impacts of wildfires, prescribed burns and excessive fuel loads. Join us in welcoming Professor Neary for this very special presentation and find out more about one of our most treasured local forests!