Projects

Cragin Watershed Protection Project

View of CC Cragin Reservoir behind the Cragin Watershed Protection Project logo

Reducing the risk of wildfire and post-fire flooding in the watersheds that lead to C.C. Cragin (formerly Blue Ridge) Reservoir.

FAQs

 

July 27, 2018 - The Final Decision on the Cragin Watershed Protection Project was signed July 27, 2018. The following are key documents important to understanding Decision:

For additional information and project documents, visit the Cragin Watershed Protection Project planning page.

 

The Town of Payson plans on drawing approximately 3,000 acre feet of water per year from C.C. Cragin Reservoir, beginning in 2018. The reservoir is directly fed by three main watersheds that sit atop the Mogollon Rim: East Clear Creek-Blue Ridge Reservoir, Bear Canyon, and Miller Canyon. These areas—all priority watersheds that receive heavy recreation use—have the potential for severe wildfire, which would result in large amounts of sediment and ash transported from the watersheds into the reservoir.

 

 

Forest thinning along with prescribed and maintenance burning in these areas is crucial and necessary to prevent damage and destruction to the watersheds, C. C. Cragin Reservoir which will supply water to the Town of Payson, critical habitat for wildlife and fish (Mexican spotted owl and Little Colorado spinedace), and the pipeline, project overhead power line and other reservoir facilities.

 

The Forest Service, the Salt River Project, Bureau of Reclamation, National Forest Foundation and the Town of Payson are partners on this project and have established a joint program to proactively improve the health of the three watersheds and adjacent lands surrounding the reservoir.

 

The Coconino National Forest has signed the Final Decision after an extensive planning process - an in-depth, science-based environmental analysis identified by the National Environmental Policy Act - on planned treatments to restore forest health in the watersheds feeding C.C. Cragin Reservoir. The Decision was signed July 27, 2018, and implementation will begin shortly thereafter.

 

The project area is approximately 64,000 acres located north of Payson, Pine, and Strawberry AZ between Forest Road 300 on the edge of the Mogollon Rim and Highway 87. Not all 64,000 acres will receive fuels reduction treatments. Treatments will include a combination of thinning and fire treatments (prescribed fire and maintenance burning), but the specific locations and treatments will be determined through the planning process occurring over the next two years.

 

Please visit the Cragin Watershed Protection Project planning page to view documents related to the formal planning process. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) has detailed answers to the most common questions about the project.

 

Photos of the Project Area

Click on the thumbnail images below to open a larger view in a new window.

View from Baker Butte southwest into Pine Canyon.

View from Baker Butte Lookout southwest into Pine Canyon: The forest around the tower will be proposed for thinning and prescribed burning treatment to reduce fuels in this area.

Photo (2015): Polly Haessig, USFS Coconino National Forest

View from Baker Butte Lookout looking east.

View from Baker Butte Lookout looking east: The forest in this view will be examined for treatment opportunities to reduce fuels. The smoke in the distance is from the 2015 General Fire.

Photo (2015): Polly Haessig, USFS Coconino National Forest

View from Moqui Lookout looking southwest towards Baker Butte.

View from Moqui Lookout looking southwest towards Baker Butte: The forest in this view is part of the CWPP project area.

Photo (2015): Polly Haessig, USFS Coconino National Forest

 

 

In the News

 

 

 

Photo (banner): C.C. Cragin (aka Blue Ridge) Reservoir (2013). Credit: Brady Smith, USFS Coconino National Forest.





https://www.fs.usda.gov/projectdetail/coconino/landmanagement/projects/?cid=STELPRD3850490