San Carlos Apache Tribal Forest Protection Project

Wildfire crisis
Landscape Investments

San Carlos Apache TFPA

Apache-Sitgreaves, Coronado, and Tonto National Forests

map

About the Landscape

STATE

Arizona

SIZE

3 million acres

TRIBAL CONNECTION

San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation

PARTNERS

San Carlos Apache Tribe; National Forest Foundation; Arizona Game and Fish Department; Mule Deer Foundation; Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management; Salt River Project

BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE LAW (BIL) ALLOCATION

$32,009,200

Landscape Highlights

This landscape includes National Forest System lands and San Carlos Reservation lands. For cross-boundary landscape restoration, at the Forest Service, we will work with the San Carlos Apache Tribe to build on the two Tribal Forest Protection Act projects they initiated. Work on the landscape will protect international waters shared with the Tribe, associated drinking water systems, and residential areas. Fuels reduction work will also reduce the exposure to wildfire of the Mount Graham International Observatory and two telecommunications sites, which include primary communications systems for local law enforcement.

Mechanisms for Execution

Working cooperatively with the San Carlos Apache Tribe and various partners (including the National Forest Foundation, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Mule Deer Foundation, and the Salt River Project), we will use contracts and other partnership agreements during initial hiring and training and on-the-ground fuels treatments and survey work.

Expected Outcomes

Work on this landscape will reduce wildfire exposure to communities within the San Carlos and Fort Apache Reservations. Landscape treatments will reintroduce wildland fire into fire-adapted ecosystems in a culturally sensitive way while emphasizing sustainable uses of cultural forest products, including clean water, traditional medicinal plant cover, firewood, and culturally significant food sources such as acorns, berries, and wildlife. Work will also foster public understanding and sharing of culturally significant information to better guide our land management decisions. We expect to complete 87,000 acres of treatments between FYs 2023 and 2027. However, during the first 2 years, the San Carlos Apache Tribe will be hiring, and these new positions will add to the overall capacity to collaborate, develop, and implement projects across the landscape. Once the capacity is established to develop and implement critically important treatments, we will work together to treat beyond the initial 87,000 acres.