Pinaleno Sacred Springs

In 2022, NCDE was contacted by the Taproot Collaborative to help with spring restoration work in the Pinaleno Mountains (Mt. Graham) of Southern Arizona. The Pinaleno’s are a sky island typical of Southern Arizona and is the highest peak and mountain range in southern Arizona. This mountain range possesses diverse ecological and cultural resources, most of which were adversely impacted by the 2017 Frye Fire. NCDE worked with Taproot to identify multiple springs in impacted watersheds that were in need of restoration work. NCDE, Taproot, and U.S.F.S Coronado worked over the course of a year to development a work plan where NCDE prioritized restoration in 4 highly impacted watersheds and developed a stream restoration design report. NCDE design’s focused on protecting a sensitive wet meadow and culturally important spring.

In all, NCDE designed over 35 stream restoration structures along the course of the spring along a tributary to Ash Creek. In early summer 2023, NCDE oversaw two weeks of restoration preparation and restoration work with Arizona Conservation Crews (AZCC) and Ancestral Lands Conservation Crews (ALCC). In the 2023 phase of work, NCDE and crews constructed 22 structures using ~1,500 rocks and 40 10′ by 10” logs.


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