For the Love of the Superstition Wilderness

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We get Arizona pride. We often hear people share how they love the local businesses in their communities – restaurants, pet shops, boutiques and farmer’s markets.   The unique identity of this place also invokes pride – Arizona’s wine country, rural towns and historic places.  But our state’s most precious asset is its wild places and natural beauty.

This pride of place makes the loss of parts of the Superstition Wilderness to the Woodbury Fire so heartbreaking to so many people.  This area is a treasure to all that appreciate the outdoors, and holds a place in many residents’ hearts and memories. With the loss of thousands of acres of natural beauty comes the urge to do something to be better stewards of this place we call home.  Here are some ways you can help:

1)      Firefighter support:
The incredible people on the front lines of fires are the some of the biggest heroes we know.  There has been plenty of interest from community members to provide support and we found the following advice through the Arizona Emergency Information Network:  The Incident Management Team and all assigned resources are self-sufficient and do not have needs for food, equipment or monetary donations. Any groups wishing to make donations are encouraged to contact your local fire departments or charities.

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation is a nonprofit that provides support to families of firefighters killed in the line of duty and to injured firefighters and their families. We also encourage you to pay attention to and support legislation that provides fire departments and people fighting wildfires the resources they need.

2) Support organizations and businesses that support the Superstition Wilderness

  • Arizona Wilderness Coalition protects wild places by offering training events in Wilderness Stewardship, organizing hiking trips to monitor and maintain areas, and advocacy.

  • Arizona Trail Association maintains and monitors the 800 mile Arizona Trail which runs through the Superstition Wilderness.

  • Tonto National Forest  has opportunities to volunteer part-time, full-time, or one-time basis doing a variety of duties.

  • Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center rescues and rehabilitates wildlife that has been injured, displaced, and orphaned.

  • Arizona Game & Fish conserves and protects over 800 wildlife species in the state and offers conservation memberships to help raise much needed funds.

  • Businesses in the Apache Junction, Superior and Globe area are likely feeling the pinch due to road closures and marina closures resulting in fewer visitors.  As areas reopen, make it a point to patronize these places.

3) Share your Superstition Wilderness photos
Honor this amazing place by sharing your favorite photo of time spent in the Superstition Wilderness. We’ve put a post on the Local First Arizona Facebook page – please share your image in the comment section and let us know where in the Superstition Wilderness the photo was taken.

4)  Attend our July Green Team event, July 25th at 6 p.m.
We’ll be joining our friends at Just Roughin’ It Adventure Company in Scottsdale to learn how to be better stewards of natural places. Speakers will share information on wilderness fire safety, prevention, restoration and following Leave No Trace principles. More information here.

5) Learn more about the impact climate change has on fighting wildfires

Arizona Central: https://www.azcentral.com/in-depth/news/local/arizona-environment/2018/08/01/climate-change-wildfires-frantic-fight-save-arizona-forests/609566002/

U.S. Forest Service: https://www.fs.fed.us/features/climate-change-intensifying-wildfire-national-forests

Climate Reality Project: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/facing-reality-firefighters-climate-frontlines