June of ’22 has been kind to us in southeast Arizona and southwest New Mexico. An early start to the seasonal rain (aka the monsoon) has brought critical moisture and lower temperatures to our region.
Coinciding with this welcome change is the arrival of a diverse group of young adults from across the country. They’re participating in this year’s Youth Conservation Corps summer program. Wild Arizona administers this annual six week event with funding from the Coronado National Forest and help from nonprofits like the Chiricahua Regional Council.
They were camped at the Portal Ranger Station but when we visited them out on the trail, they had backpacked into South Fork Canyon to work on the Burro Trail (#240.) Led by the capable Jonathan Patt and assisted by his Wild Stew crew, this program provides training, meals, shelter, and pay for the copious amount of work it demands.
In response to local community input, CRC has been instrumental in selecting local trails that are easily accessed from Cave Creek Canyon. Accomplished to date include a new “Interpretive Trail” linking the Visitor Information Center with Silver Peak Trail (#280), including the installation of two pedestrian gates generously supplied by Reed Peters; new rock steps at lower Silver Peak and a series of switchbacks to improve the confusing previous route; attention to the “Nature Trail” realignment at Sunny Flat; and the ongoing retreading of the popular Burro Trail (pictured above).
We locals benefit directly from the hard work these individuals are contributing to our public lands.
The Stewardship Program at CRC wishes to give a “shout out” to Brian Stultz of Wild Arizona for his tireless work and meticulous planning. And if you’re out on the trail and run into this group, please let them know how much we all appreciate them!