CRC’s Stewardship Program had an active 2023. Working with partner organizations, we amassed over 750 hours of volunteer time. In the winter, we installed wilderness portal signs in several Chiricahua locations, including Price Canyon, Rucker Canyon, and Cave Creek Canyon.
The program organized monthly trail maintenance days for the Portal-Rodeo Hiking Group. These dedicated volunteers worked primarily in the Cave Creek Canyon area. Multiple work events involving as many as 13 participants focused on the Nature Trail, Herb Martyr, Basin, Crest, and Cathedral Vista Trails.
We coordinated with Wild Arizona to work on both the upper and lower sections of the Greenhouse Trail in the summer. During the fall, we partnered with John Sumner (co-leader of the Chiricahua Wilderness Trail Crew) and those who accompanied him, to do essential work in keeping many of the backcountry trails free of downed trees.
The program was also instrumental in securing grant funding to address a non-native grass, Paspalum dilitatum (common name Dallis grass), that threatens Cave Creek Canyon’s aquatic habitats. This project will commence in March of 2024.
All of this activity represents the solid partnerships we have developed and continue to cultivate for our region. The Chiricahua Regional Council (CRC) strives to keep stewardship as one of its primary missions. Membership has been consistently supportive, and your generous donations are essential to the organization’s success. We’ll continue to engage the local community, FoCCC, Wild Arizona, the Forest Service, and other organizations to further restore the trail system in the Chiricahuas. Jonathan Patt (Wild Arizona) will be joining our Advisory Council. Future projects will be enhanced by his valuable input.
As we look ahead, the program continues to identify sections of the Crest, Greenhouse and Snowshed Trails for improvement during the 2024 field season.