Aldo Leopold & the Apache National Forest: Roots of a land ethic

Dr. Flader will begin by introducing us to Aldo Leopold as a conservationist deeply committed to the health of lands, wildlife, and watersheds. Her talk, titled Aldo Leopold & the Apache National Forest:  Roots of a land ethic begins at 6:30.

Susan will focus on his land ethic and how we are connected to the land on which we live.

Leopold began his career as a forester on the Apache National Forest in 1909.  The Apache influenced his thinking throughout his lifetime.  He came to understand the intricate balance of nature and how critical different components of the system were to the health of our forests.

Viewing of the Green Fire documentary after presentation.
Green Fire Hike with Susan Flader
Hike to the Green Fire site, where almost 104 years ago Aldo Leopold and his companions stood shooting at a pack of wolves below.  Susan Flader will talk about how the site was discovered and Leopold’s transformation from wolf killer to protector. We will also be reading passages from Leopold’s “Thinking like a Mountain” where he recounts the watching the fierce green fire go out of the wolf’s eyes and how it affected him. We will also talk about the proposed Green Fire interpretive trail and overlook.

Hike length 2 to 7 miles and determined individually.  You can choose to hike the 2 miles to the overlook or bushwhack down the proposed trail to the Black River. Bring water, lunch, and rain gear.

Escudilla Wilderness Hike
Saturday, September 21
Meet at the Alpine Ranger Station, Alpine, AZ at 8:30am.  Hike length 6 miles round trip.

Hike to the top of Escudilla Mountain, written about by Leopold in one of his essays in A Sand County Almanac.  Passages from Leopold’s writings will be read, and discussion of the impact that this place had on his life.

“Journeys-Aldo Leopold and the Apache National Forest”
Permanent Exhibit,  August 10 through September 22
Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm
USFS Apache-Sitgreaves Supervisor’s Office (Behind Subway)
30 S. Chiricahua Dr.  Springerville, AZ

The ongoing exhibit will include photographs, writings, and artifacts related to Leopold’s stay in Arizona.  You will be able to view the Green Fire film anytime this exhibit is open.

Presented by the US Forest Service /Apache-Sitgreaves Supervisor’s Office, the White Mountain Conservation League, and Great Old Broads for Wilderness

Posted in General | Comments Off on Aldo Leopold & the Apache National Forest: Roots of a land ethic

Journey Stories Special Events

Journey Stories Grand Opening:

Saturday  August 10, 9am.

Featuring the Smithsonian Exhibition and companion exhibit, Journey to Springerville.

Location:  Springerville Heritage Center, front steps

Check out the Journey Stories trailer on Youtube!


“Journeys-Aldo Leopold and the Apache National Forest”

Permanent Exhibit, opening August 10, 2013

Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm

USFS Apache-Sitgreaves Supervisor’s Office

30 S. Chiricahua Dr.  Springerville, AZ  928-333-4301


During the opening of the exhibit on August 10, Forest Service

Personnel, dressed in early 1900’s Forest Service attire, will read selections from Leopold’s writings.  There will also be docents on hand to talk about the exhibit. The ongoing exhibit will include photographs, writings, and artifacts related to Leopold’s stay in Arizona.

Presented by the US Forest Service /Apache-Sitgreaves Supervisor’s Office, the White Mountain Conservation League, and Great Old Broads for Wilderness

 Speakers and Events

Green Fire (Film presentation) Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time with  guest speaker, Dr. Susan Flader

Saturday, August 17   Speaker at 6:30

Film at 7:00

Joseph & Emma Udall Family Threatre at the Springerville Heritage Center

418 E. Main St., Springerville, AZ

Dr. Susan Flader, film consultant and Leopold scholar will speak about Leopold’s time in the southwest and the discovery of the Green Fire site.  The documentary film covers the time that Leopold spent in the southwest in depth.

Presented by the White Mountain Conservation League, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest


Green Fire Hike

Sunday, August 18

Meet at the Alpine Ranger Station, Alpine AZ at 8:30am.

Hike length 2-7miles and determined individually

Hike to the Green Fire site, timed to occur approximately 104 years after Leopold stood at the same spot shooting at the wolves below.  Discussion of Leopold’s transformation from wolf killer to protector, and reading of passages from Leopold’s Thinking like a Mountain.

Presented by the White Mountain Conservation League and Great Old Broads for Wilderness.

Escudilla Wilderness Hike

Saturday, September 21

Meet at the Alpine Ranger Station, Alpine, AZ at 8:30am.  Hike length 6 miles round trip.

Hike to the top of Escudilla Mountain, written about by Leopold in one of his essays in A Sand County Almanac .  Passages from Leopold’s writings will be read, and discussion of the impact that this place had on his life.

Presented by the White Mountain Conservation League and Great Old Broads for Wilderness.

Springerville Heritage Center

418 E. Main St., Springerville, AZ



Posted in General | Comments Off on Journey Stories Special Events

Howliday at Big Lake

Big Lake Howliday Campout Weekend
July 19, 20, and 21, 2013

Join the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project for a fun-filled weekend learning about and celebrating the return of Mexican wolves to the wild. This year marks the 15 year anniversary of the first releases of Mexican wolves back into the wild in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. The weekend campout event will also launch our second Paseo del Lobo hike for wolf awareness in the Grand Canyon region.

Where: Apache Trout Campground Fir Group site at Big Lake in the Apache National Forest, Arizona.

When: Friday, July 19, 2013 starting at 3:00 pm through Sunday, July 21st at noon.

Participation is FREE! Weekend registration is required through the registration form below.

Please bring your own personal camping equipment and comfortable clothes for hiking in and appropriate for high elevation weather during the Monsoon season.

Optional Weekend Activities include:
– morning bird walks
– wildlife and wolf tracking workshops with wildlife tracking experts
– a hike to the “Green Fire” site where Aldo Leopold had his epiphany about wolves
– hikes on the Paseo del Lobo trail
– Evening talks by a wildlife biologist that was at the very first release in 1998, wolf activists and conservationist from the U.S. and Mexico, and a director of one of the captive breeding facilities for Mexican wolves.

Please check back to this site for more information and event details as they are updated.

Register at (form at the bottom of the page.)

Posted in General | Comments Off on Howliday at Big Lake

BroadWALK – Leopold’s White Mountains – AZ, July 18-22

Dates: July 18-22, 2013

Location: near Nutrioso, AZ
Cost: member $125, non-member $150

Mexican wolfIn the Footsteps of Leopold Broadband Leader Billie Hughes is our host for this incredible experience. Join us camping on her private land in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona near the New Mexico border where we’ll learn about the White Mountain Conservation League’s Escudilla Wilderness Proposal, the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery program, Wallow Fire recovery, the Four Forests Restoration Initiative (4FRI), the history of Aldo Leopold (considered by many the father of wildlife management and of the U.S. wilderness system), and more.

This will be a classic Broadwalk with hikes into the proposed wilderness, a service project, informational presentations on a broad range of wilderness and wildlife management topics, a wildlife tracking workshop, and lots of Broad socializing. On Saturday, we’ll join others at Big Lake for a full-day celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Mexican gray wolf re-introduction.

Our campsite is surrounded by the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest at an elevation of 7,680 ft, ensuring pleasant temperatures and likely afternoon thunderstorms. We’ll have shelter if needed.

Cost includes camping, breakfasts and dinners each day, speakers, and more. Information about the area and wilderness proposal is at

To register, send full payment to:
Great Old Broads for Wilderness
PO Box 2924
Durango, CO 81302

Or go to our on-line payment page at

Questions? Contact Rose at or 970-385-9577.

More information about Broadwalks

Billie was the subject of a Study a Broad column in the Spring 2011 issue of Broadsides (pg 8).

Billie Hughes lifts a cast of Mexican wolf tracks. Billie Hughes lifts a cast of Mexican wolf tracks.

From the Apache and Sitgreaves National Forests website:

The Escudilla Wilderness w has been severely affected by the Wallow Fire of June 2011. The area is currently open to public use and entry, HOWEVER – The trails may not yet been assessed or maintained for hazards associated with the fire. The Escudilla Lookout was severely damaged by the fire, and there are overhead hazards to being in the area below – the lookout and the fenced area below it are closed to all public entry due to safety concerns.

Please keep in mind that any area affected by the wildfire can be prone to hazards such as falling trees, flooding and burned out stump holes. The environment you are entering is highly susceptible to rainstorms and wind events. Any time you enter the forest, you should be aware of your environment and changing weather conditions. You are responsible for your own safety! Always look up, look down, and look all around.

You can see towering Escudilla Mountain from just about anywhere in the neighborhood (the neighborhood of eastern Arizona, that is). The Wilderness encompasses the upper reaches of the mountain, which at 10,912 feet is the third highest in the state of Arizona. The last known grizzly bear in Arizona was killed here, and Leopold wrote: “Somehow it seems that the spirit of the bear is still there, prowling the huge meadows, lurking in the thick stands of aspen and spruce, wandering the steep slopes that looking down from is like looking out of the window of an airplane.”

Escudilla Mountain photo courtesy of the USDA Forest Service. Escudilla Mountain photo courtesy of the USDA Forest Service. Wallow-fire-regrowth Wallow Fire regrowth photo by James Tanner-

– See more at:

Posted in General | Comments Off on BroadWALK – Leopold’s White Mountains – AZ, July 18-22

New Survey: Westerners Link Public Lands to Economic Prosperity, Quality of Life

Strong majorities reject selling off public lands; want protections for sensitive lands subject to drilling and prioritize renewable energy production in their state. 

COLORADO SPRINGS Westerners place a strong value on public lands, saying they are essential to their states economy and quality of life, according to the 2013 Colorado College State of the Rockies Conservation in the West poll.

Westerners see the permanent protection of their public lands as an economic imperative, and essential to their quality of life, said Colorado College economist and State of the Rockies Project faculty director Walt Hecox, PhD. Decision makers would do well to take notice and cure the often one-sided tendency to pursue development rather than protection that weve seen emerge over the last four years.

This years bipartisan survey of 2,400 Westerners, representing a cross section of the regions population, found near unanimous 91 percent agreement that public lands like national parks, forests, monuments and wildlife areas are an essential part of their states economy. Further, 71 percent oppose proposals to sell off public lands, and overwhelmingly reject arguments for the sale of public lands.

Highlights from the 2013 Conservation in the West poll:

  • 79 percent believe public lands support their economy and enhance their overall quality of life.
  • 74 percent believe our national parks, forests, monuments, and wildlife areas help attract high quality employers and good jobs to their state.
  • 71 percent believe selling off public lands to corporations for development will hurt their economy and quality of life.
  • 52 percent perceive public lands to be a job creator in their state.

The survey also illuminates Westerners view of energy production. For the second year in a row, Westerners vastly prefer that renewable energy development be encouraged in their state, rather than nuclear power or fossil fuels.

Drilling on public lands has flown under the radar of most Westerners. Only 34 percent of those interviewed knew with certainty that oil and gas drilling occurs on public lands. Those polled call for a balanced approach to any energy development occurring in these areas, with 56 percent saying that environmentally sensitive public lands should be permanently protected from this type of activity.

The 2013 Colorado College Conservation in the West survey is a bipartisan poll conducted by Republican pollster Lori Weigel of Public Opinion Strategies and Democratic pollster Dave Metz of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates. The poll surveyed 400 registered voters in each of six western states (AZ, CO, NM, UT, WY, MT) for a total 2,400-person sample. The survey was conducted from January 5 through 10, 2013, and yields a margin of error of +/- 2.0 percent nationwide and +/-4.9 statewide.

The full survey and individual state surveys are available at:

Posted in General | Comments Off on New Survey: Westerners Link Public Lands to Economic Prosperity, Quality of Life

WILD THINGS: A film about the war on native carnivores

Many ranchers are rejecting the old practice of killing large carnivores to protect livestock. Instead, they are increasingly using new technology and old methods of animal husbandry to coexist with carnivores.

Native carnivores bring balance to the landscape and keep ecosystems healthy. But they can also be seen as a threat to livestock, and for decades government trappers have killed them in large numbers. The U.S.D.A.'s Wildlife Services program kills tens of thousands of native carnivores annually, often at the demand of the ranching industry. It is a battle against nature that is costly, brutal, and not very effective. Does the battle really need to be fought? Wild Things introduces audiences to progressive ranchers learning to coexist with these animals and features scientists, conservationists and even former Wildlife Services trappers, who believe it is time for a major change in the way we treat our magnificent native carnivores.

Watch the trailer and learn more at The National Resources Defense Council pages.

Posted in General | Comments Off on WILD THINGS: A film about the war on native carnivores

US Forest Service, partners win Emmy for ‘Green Fire’

Photo courtesy of Aldo Leopold Foundation

Aldo Leopold seated on rimrock above the Rio Gavilan in northern Mexico.

Aldo Leopold seated on rimrock above the Rio Gavilan in
northern Mexico while on a bow hunting trip in 1938.

Posted by: Tiffany Holloway, Office of Communication, U.S. Forest Service
And the Emmy goes to …
The U.S. Forest Service, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, and the Center for Humans and Nature have partnered to produce the documentary Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time.”
The film recently received a regional Emmy® award for Best Historical Documentary at the 54th annual Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
The film is airing on public television in Wisconsin, and will be distributed nationally starting in April 2013.   Since its premiere in February 2011, it has screened at more than 2,000 venues in the United States and around the world.
“This prestigious recognition is an honor because it recognizes the time and talent invested by the project team, but also because it affirms the power and relevance of Leopold's vision,” said Buddy Huffaker, executive producer of “Green Fire” and president of the Aldo Leopold Foundation.
Leopold, who died in 1948, helped to shape modern conservation science, policy, and ethics.  “Green Fire” explores Leopold’s life and career, and also his contemporary influence. “Green Fire” is the first feature-length documentary about the conservationist.
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is a professional service organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television. It is best known for its Daytime and Primetime Emmys, but also recognizes excellence in television with the coveted Emmy® Awards for News & Documentary, Sports, Daytime Entertainment, Daytime Creative Arts & Entertainment, Public & Community Service, Technology & Engineering, and Business & Financial Reporting.
Photo courtesy of Aldo Leopold Foundation

A picture of Aldo Leopold standing next to his horse.

Aldo Leopold’s Forest Service career began in 1909, as a
ranger on the Apache National Forest in the Arizona Territory.

“This is a significant milestone on the path to a more ethical relationship between people and land. We were thrilled the film is getting well-deserved attention,” said Rett Nelson, vice-chair of the Aldo Leopold Foundation Board of Directors.
Leopold is best known for “A Sand County Almanac,” a collection of essays published in 1949, a year after his death. Since its publication, more than two million copies have been sold.  The concluding essay, titled “The Land Ethic,” defined a new relationship between people and nature and set the stage for the modern environmental movement.

“As a society, we are just now beginning to realize the depth of Leopold’s work and thinking,” said Mike Dombeck, former chief Forest Service, professor of Global Environmental Management University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a University of Wisconsin System Fellow of Global Conservation.

Posted in General | Comments Off on US Forest Service, partners win Emmy for ‘Green Fire’

Killing Coyotes? Why?

   You know coyotes are among the most trapped animals in New Mexico . There are no regulations for season, method or bag limits or any restriction on the killing of these small wild canines. Now, a gun store in Los Lunas, Blackhawk Firearms, is holding a coyote killing contest. Shooters are signing up right now to see who can kill the most coyotes over the weekend of Nov 16-18. The owner of this store has said he is also a trapper. The prize for who brings in the most carcasses is an expensive shotgun or assault rifle.  The sponsor needs to know how much New Mexicans disapprove of this senseless violence. The random killing of these native mid-sized carnivores serves no purpose except for use as live targets to make a pile of dead bodies. This is not wildlife management or ethical hunting. No one eats coyote.
Here is what you can do:
1. Protest rally! If you live in the Albuquerque or Los Lunas area, your presences is needed at a rally this weekend at the strip shopping center where the gun store is located to protest this senseless killing before it happens. Bring a sign and bring a friend!          
       WHAT: Rally to protest killing coyote killing contest
       WHEN:  This Saturday Nov. 10 from 12 noon to 2PM
       WHERE: 1400 Main St. Los Lunas
                         Shopping Center Location of Gunhawk Firearms
                         (take the Los Lunas exit from I-25 and head east toward town.
                         Click here for map. Please do not park in the shoping center but at the   
                         Los Lunas High baseball field which is very nearby)
  1.  Please send a letter to Governor Susana Martinez asking her to denounce this and all killing contests. They cast a very bad light on our state. Click here
  2. Please send a letter in your own words to the Albuquerque Journal expressing your disapproval. You can reference this article. Keep it short and respectful. Here are some talking points.
  • This random killing of coyotes will not protect livestock. US Department of Agriculture’s own data reports that native carnivores are responsible for a tiny percentage of all livestock losses and coyotes in particular only a fraction of that.
  • Randomly killing coyotes throws into disarray their natural social structure that limits their population. More will breed and litters will be bigger.
  • Random killing does not help the natural ecosytem because at least temporarily, coyotes that are doing the job of keeping rodents and rabbits in check will be lost. At the end of the day, there will just be a mountain of coyote carcasses to dispose of. No one eats coyote.
  • Click here for excellent letter from Dr. Robert L. Crabtree who has studied and researched coyotes and their ecology for decades about how killing coyotes is not only ineffective for protecting livestock or deer, it may actually increase losses of these animals
Posted in General | Comments Off on Killing Coyotes? Why?

Climate Change Could Cripple Southwestern U.S. Forests: Trees Face Rising Drought Stress and Mortality as Climate Warms

ScienceDaily (Sep. 30, 2012) — Combine the tree-ring growth record with historical information, climate records, and computer-model projections of future climate trends, and you get a grim picture for the future of trees in the southwestern United States. That's the word from a team of scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Arizona, and other partner organizations.

If the Southwest is warmer and drier in the near future, widespread tree death is likely and would cause substantial changes in the distribution of forests and of species, the researchers report this week in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Southwestern forests grow best when total winter precipitation is high combined with a summer and fall that aren't too hot and dry.

The team developed a Forest Drought-Stress Severity Index that combines the amount of winter precipitation, late summer and fall temperatures, and late summer and fall precipitation into one number.

"The new 'Forest Drought-Stress Index' that Williams devised from seasonal precipitation and temperature-related variables matches the records of changing forest conditions in the Southwest remarkably well," said co-author Thomas W. Swetnam, director of the UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research.

"Among all climate variables affecting trees and forests that have ever been studied, this new drought index has the strongest correlation with combined tree growth, tree death from drought and insects, and area burned by forest fires that I have ever seen."

A. Park Williams of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico is the lead author of the paper, "Temperature as a potent driver of regional forest drought stress and tree mortality." Six of the paper's 15 authors are at the UA. A complete list of authors is at the bottom of this release.

To figure out which climate variables affect forests, the researchers aligned some 13,000 tree core samples with known temperature and moisture data. The team also blended in events known from tree-ring, archaeological and other paleorecords, such as the late 1200s megadrought that drove the ancient Pueblo Indians out of longtime settlements such as those at Mesa Verde, Colo.

By comparing the tree-ring record to climate data collected in the Southwest since the late 1800s, the scientists identified two climate variables that estimate annual southwestern tree-growth variability with exceptional accuracy: total winter precipitation and average summer-fall atmospheric evaporative demand, a measure of the overall dryness of the environment.

Williams said, "Atmospheric evaporative demand is primarily driven by temperature. When air is warmer, it can hold more water vapor, thus increasing the pace at which soil and plants dry out. The air literally sucks the moisture out of the soil and plants."

Finding that summer-fall atmospheric evaporative demand is just as important as winter precipitation has critical implications for the future of southwestern forests, he said.

These trends, the researchers noted, are already occurring in the Southwest, where temperatures generally have been increasing for the past century and are expected to continue to do so because of accumulating greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

There still will be wet winters, but increased frequency of warmer summers will put more stress on trees and limit their growth after wet winters, the study reports.

"We can use the past to learn about the future," Williams said. "For example, satellite fire data from the past 30 years show that there has been a strong and exponential relationship between the regional tree-ring drought-stress record and the area of southwestern forests killed by wildfire each year. This suggests that if drought intensifies, we can expect forests not only to grow more slowly, but also to die more quickly."

The study points out that very large and severe wildfires, bark-beetle outbreaks and a doubling of the proportion of dead trees in response to early 21st-century warmth and drought conditions are evidence that a transition of southwestern forest landscapes toward more open and drought-tolerant ecosystems may already be underway.

And while 2000s drought conditions have been severe, the regional tree-ring record indicates there have been substantially stronger megadrought events during the past 1,000 years.

The strongest megadrought occurred during the second half of the 1200s and is believed to have played an important role in the abandonment of ancient Puebloan cultural centers throughout the Southwest. The most recent megadrought occurred in the late 1500s and appears to have been strong enough to kill many trees in the Southwest.

"When we look at our tree-ring record, we see this huge dip in the 1580s when all the tree rings are really tiny," Williams said. "Following the 1500s megadrought, tree rings get wider, and there was a major boom in new trees. Nearly all trees we see in the Southwest today were established after the late-1500s drought, even though the species we evaluated can easily live longer than 400 years. So that event is a benchmark for us today. If forest drought stress exceeds late 1500 levels, we expect that a lot of trees are going to be dying."

Will future forest drought-stress levels reach or exceed those of the megadroughts of the 1200s and 1500s?

Using climate-model projections, the team projected that such megadrought-type forest drought-stress conditions will be exceeded regularly by the 2050s. If climate-model projections are correct, forest drought-stress levels during even the wettest and coolest years of the late 21st century will be more severe than the driest, warmest years of the previous megadroughts.

The study forecasts that during the second half of this century, about 80 percent of years will exceed megadrought levels.

The current drought, which began in 2000, is a natural case study about what to expect from projected climate scenarios. While average winter precipitation totals in the Southwest have not been exceptionally low, average summer-fall evaporative demand is the highest on record.

And trees, Williams says, are paying the price. The team concluded forest drought stress during more than 30 percent of the past 13 years, including 2011 and 2012, matched or exceeded the megadrought-type levels of the 1200s and 1500s. The only other 13-year periods when megadrought-type conditions were reached with such frequencies in the past 1,000 years were during the megadroughts themselves.

UA co-author Daniel Griffin said, "This research is distinctly different from work done in a similar vein in two ways: One, it puts these projections for the future in a concrete historical context, and two, it shows that the impacts on the forests will not be restricted to one species or one site at low elevation, but in fact will take place at forests across the landscape."

Griffin is a doctoral candidate in the UA School of Geography and Development.

Co-author Craig D. Allen, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said, "Consistent with many other recent studies, these findings provide compelling additional evidence of emerging global risks of amplified drought-induced tree mortality and extensive forest die-off as the planet warms."

Los Alamos National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation funded the research.

Story Source:
The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Arizona, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:
  1. A. Park Williams, Craig D. Allen, Alison K. Macalady, Daniel Griffin, Connie A. Woodhouse, David M. Meko, Thomas W. Swetnam, Sara A. Rauscher, Richard Seager, Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, Jeffrey S. Dean, Edward R. Cook, Chandana Gangodagamage, Michael Cai, Nate G. McDowell. Temperature as a potent driver of regional forest drought stress and tree mortality. Nature Climate Change, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1693
Posted in General | Comments Off on Climate Change Could Cripple Southwestern U.S. Forests: Trees Face Rising Drought Stress and Mortality as Climate Warms

Wolf Recovery Project Post Pictures

Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posted a gallery of Mexican wolf images.  Check this one out with the bear and wolf in the same photo!!!   Look carefully!

This is one of many photos on the Fish and Wildlife site.

Posted in General | Comments Off on Wolf Recovery Project Post Pictures