PHOENIX — The Tonto National Forest released a draft decision on the Travel Management Project today, to designate a series of roads, trails, and areas for motorized use, as well as prohibit general cross-country travel.

This decision comes after a multi-year planning process that included extensive public participation and review of more than 5,000 miles of roads and trails. During this time, the Tonto National Forest has provided a number of proposals for a designated road and trail system to the public for review and comment. These public comments were used to develop a comprehensive analysis called the final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, on which the recent Travel Management draft decision was based.

Families can enjoy fee free day at Tonto National Forest sites

PHOENIX — The Tonto National Forest invites the public to connect with nature and learn more about public lands on Saturday, September 28, in honor of National Public Lands Day.

Tonto staff are partnering with multiple groups to show people how to enjoy their public lands. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Phon D Sutton Recreation Area on the Lower Salt River, about 16 miles northeast of Mesa.

In conjunction with National Public Lands Day, the Tonto National Forest will waive fees at several day-use recreation sites on Saturday, September 28.

Grand Canyon, AZ –Over the past two days, firefighters made progress with firing operations along Forest Road 223. This tactic is conducted to strengthen and improve the northern boundary of the planning area. Crews continue to move along the southern boundary, using hand ignitions to create a buffer as the main fire advances to the west. Yesterday the fire was tested by gusty, erratic winds but continued to spread as expected at a low to moderate rate.

Over the next few days, the Ikes Fire will begin to right-size resources. Crews will be released from the fire as objectives are met and made available to assist with other wildfires in the country. Remaining resources will patrol and hold the fire perimeter to ensure the fire remains within the planning area. The fire has spread across approximately 5,932 acres within the 7,785-acre planning area, and has 61 resources assigned.

PHOENIX — A long-term ecological restoration project is happening on the Lower Salt River of the Tonto National Forest’s Mesa Ranger District in the area of the 2017 Cactus Fire.

The Lower Salt River Restoration project will restore 70 acres of riparian habitat along an 11-mile stretch of the river by removing exotic plant species and planting over 500,000 native plants. The Northern Arizona University School of Forestry, employees of the Tonto National Forest and Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management are collaborating on the project made possible through funding from the National Forest Foundation.

Target Shooting and Campfires Prohibited

PHOENIX — Drought conditions, warm temperatures, and increasing fire danger have prompted the Tonto National Forest to implement fire restrictions on the Tonto National Forest beginning at 8:00 a.m., Wednesday, April 18, 2018. Fire-causing activities will be prohibited across the entire Tonto National Forest.

Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or charcoal-burning device is prohibited. Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or a developed recreation site. Operating a chainsaw or any other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is prohibited between 9 am to 8 pm. The discharging of firearms, air rifles or gas guns, except when engaged in a legal hunt in accordance with state, federal or tribal laws and regulations. The use of fireworks, explosives or a pyrotechnic device is always prohibited.

Offices closed Friday, November 10

PHOENIX — The Tonto National Forest will waive fees in honor of Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11, 2017, commemorating the end of World War 1 and paying tribute to military heroes, past and present. Forest Service offices will be closed on Friday, November 10, 2017, in observance of the Veterans Day holiday. Offices will resume normal business hours Monday, November 13.

Fees will be waived at all day-use sites such as picnic grounds, shorelines and boat launches operated by the Tonto National Forest. Concessionaire-operated facilities, camping and campground fees will not be waived. Now is the perfect time to enjoy fall weather and this fee-free day provides an incentive for people to visit nearly 3 million acres of Tonto National Forest’s land held in trust for their enjoyment and use.