Features

Partners work together to restore and protect Bill Williams Mountain

The Kaibab National Forest, in partnership with Coconino County, the National Forest Foundation, and the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, began technical steep slope forest restoration and fuels reduction work on the Bill Williams Mountain in September 2019. This project is a top priority for all of the partners in order to reduce unnaturally dense timber stands and heavy accumulations of dead and down woody fuels on the highest portion of the mountain’s north face in areas difficult to access.

Protecting Public Health and Safety

To protect public health and safety, the health and safety of our employees and volunteers and to align with local and state health and safety orders, the Southwestern Region of the USDA Forest Service has orders limiting limiting group sizes.  These restrictions reflect federal and state guidance to limit the spread of COVID-19.   Recreation site closures are managed by each forest.  

Court Approves Stipulation to Modify Injunction for Certain Activities

On October 23 the court issued an order approving the recently filed stipulation to modify the ongoing court-ordered injunction, allowing select timber management activities to resume.  These activities include the cutting of the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree, personal Christmas tree cutting, the cutting of personal use forest products such as vigas and latillas, special product collection by tribes for ceremonial purposes, and the cutting of certain hazard trees.

We continue to extend our gratitude to our state and federal partners and countless community leaders for their continued support. We are committed to being as open and transparent as possible in notifying interested groups and individuals when we take steps aimed at alleviating the stressors of the recent court-ordered injunction.

Recently Reopened Recreation Opportunities

The Southwestern Region continues to implement a state by state strategy for phased re-openings based on risk assessments and available cleaning supplies. The vast majority of the National Forests acres remain open for dispersed camping and use. Changes occur weekly across the region, generally taking effect each Friday. This is a compilation of sites closed due to the Covid epidemic that have recently reopened or are planned to do so in the next few days. Note that many sites are being closed as they are in the path of wildfires.

For the health and safety of our visitors and employees and to prevent accidental wildfires, a campfire ban remains in effect for the Region and a recreational shooting closure remains in effect on the Prescott, Tonto and Coronado National Forests in Arizona. Additional Stage II fire restrictions are in place are in place on the Tonto and Coronado National Forests in Arizona and the Carson, Santa Fe and Cibola National Forests in New Mexico.

Regional Closure and Motor Vehicle Orders

  • Fireworks, Explosives and Spark Prohibition
  • Regional Motor Vehicle Code

Four Forest Restoration Initiative

The Forest Service has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) that analyzes almost a million acres on the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests and proposes forest restoration treatments over a 10-year period.  The DEIS and associated documents are available on the 4FRI website.  For additional information, please send your request to 4fri_comments@fs.fed.us or call the 4FRI Team at 928-226-4684.

Proposed Recreation Fees and Comment Information

We are accepting comments on proposed changes to the management of the developed recreation program. These changes will impact campgrounds and day-use sites on the Carson, Gila, Lincoln, and Santa Fe National Forests, and the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands. Comment period ends December 31, 2020.

Every Kid Outdoors

Every Kid in the Park logoEvery Kid Outdoors is a nationwide program that encourages 4th graders to get outside and visit their federal public lands and waters by offering a free pass their entire 4th grade year.

Restoration Concepts for Frequent Fire Forests

Videos Bring The GTR-310 to Life

Six short videos focused on restoration concepts for Southwestern frequent-fire forests were released by the Forest Service’s Southwestern Region, Rocky Mountain Research Station, and Northern Arizona University.

Kids Exploring Nature in Albuquerque’s Oldest Neighborhood

The Children’s Garden is an outdoor space that offers interactive elements such as musical instruments, garden areas and natural materials for building and creating art. The Nature Explore Children’s Garden gives more opportunity to children who live in urban areas to regularly interact with nature. 

Local Youth Help Bring Holiday Cheer to our Nation’s Capital

How do you produce 10,000 handmade Christmas ornaments and transport a 60-foot tree across the United States just in time for the holidays? That’s the question being posed to the folks at the Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico this year, and they’ve responded with a resounding, “With a little help from our partners!”  

Celebrating Gifford Pinchot

Join us in celebrating the first Chief of the USDA Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot’s, birthday on August 11 by taking some time to enjoy a
forest or grassland near you
!

Celebrating 50 years of American Wilderness

In 2014, our nation celebrated "50 Years of Wilderness." On September 3, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act. The act defines "Wilderness" as areas where the earth and its communities of life are left unchanged by people, where the primary forces of nature are in control, and where people themselves are visitors who do not remain. A national website has been dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act signing, www.wilderness50th.org.

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