Volunteer Work Conducted by White Mountain Conservation League Allows the Opening of the Escudilla Wilderness
Release Date: Jun 28, 2012
Contact(s): Lawrence M. Lujan (928) 333-6263
Springerville, AZ; June 28, 2012— Recently a group of volunteers from the White Mountain Conservation League (WMCL) and wilderness staff from the Alpine Ranger District completed a safety barrier that has enabled the forest to once again allow public entry into the Escudilla Wilderness.
The Escudilla Fire Lookout was extensively damaged by the Wallow fire, which posed a risk to visitors. To decrease the risk and provided added protection to visitors, the group constructed a temporary safety barrier which consists of 10 foot by 10 foot chain link fence panels.
“The strenuous work this group accomplished is greatly appreciated,” expressed District Ranger Rick Davalos. “These volunteers along with others who have come forward to complete Wallow fire related projects has greatly enhanced our ability to make dangerous areas safer, and reopen areas so people can once again enjoy their national forests,” added Davalos.
“Wilderness law, along with Forest Service policy and regulations, requires the minimum use of tools and practices necessary to accomplish this type of work within congressionally designated wilderness areas,” explained Alpine Recreation Staff Officer Eric Flood. “In addition, any management actions we take within wilderness areas must benefit wilderness character and public use as stated in the Wilderness Act of 1964.” Public use includes: recreational, scenic, scientific, educational, conservation, and historical use. “As long as the Escudilla Wilderness remained closed to public entry, public use was impaired, therefore corrective actions were taken,” added Flood.
For more information on federally designated wilderness, please visit www.wilderness.net, or contact Alpine Recreation Staff Officer Eric Flood at (928) 339-5000.
If you are interested in participating in future volunteer projects on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests please contact Brenda Jensen at the Forest Supervisor’s Office in Springerville, at (928) 333-6280.
For general information on current conditions throughout the forest please visit the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests website at www.fs.usda.gov/asnf.