Bald Eagles

Bald eagle soaring above trees The Tonto National Forest contains a significant portion of the core breeding areas for the bald eagle in Arizona along portions of the Salt and Verde rivers within the Forest.  Through management and protection of these bald eagle nesting areas, the Tonto National Forest has contributed to the recovery of the bald eagle since the species was listed in 1967.  The Forest has promoted protection and enhancement of the species and its habitat by restricting land management activities, maintaining "No Entry" areas around bald eagle nests, initiating and supporting the "Bald Eagle Nestwatch".  In 1978, the Tonto National Forest and Maricopa Audubon Society began the Nestwatch Program by stationing observers at bald eagle nests on the Salt River to protect bald eagles from recreationists, aircraft overflights, and other activities that were affecting bald eagle reproduction.  This program has since been directed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and later the Arizona Game and Fish Department and is considered critical to the recovery of the species.

Cave Creek Ranger District

Mesa Ranger District

Tonto Basin Ranger District

‚ÄčThe Tonto National Forest serves on the Southwest Bald Eagle Management Committee (SWBEMC), a committee comprised of federal, state, private and tribal agencies dedicated to coordination and cooperation of funding and activities designed to protect and recover the bald eagle.  Efforts by these land management agencies have been successful in increasing the number of eagles fledged from a low of 4 in 1974 to 43 in 2014.

The SWBEMC continues of coordinate activities, such as the Nestwatch Program, public education, and research needs, across multiple agencies. The committee's website is found at the following link and contains extensive information of Arizona bald eagles, protection and other activities.

For more information, visit the Southwest Bald Eagle Management Committee web site.