The Pine Creek Canyon Project, planned for 2023, is one of several forest restoration projects planned by Tonto National forest in their ongoing effort to increase and improve the fuel breaks around the Pine Strawberry area. The project will consist of thinning Ponderosa pine, Juniper and Evergreen oaks on approximately 1000 acres near Pine to restore the “groupy” tree arrangement, improve forest health and create conditions suitable for the re-introduction of low-severity prescribed fire. Areas thinned will be in the Pine Canyon, south of Pine in the vicinity of Hwy 87 and south of Strawberry (see map below). Pine Canyon is very inaccessible for machinery, requires helicopter removal of logs and has the highest concerns for watershed improvement and post fire effects. Due to difficulty of removing logs it is not a profitable venture for a logging company, so while there should be a relatively small offset, this should be viewed primarily as a fuel reduction effort. Past helicopter logging operations have cost $10,000-$13,000 per acre and so as a result, a large amount of money is needed to do this project. There is 644 acres proposed to be helicopter logged. The entire project can have a price tag of $5 million dollars or more.
The Pine Creek Canyon Project is an important addition to our fuel break in Pine Canyon, just below Strawberry Mountain and in the forest directly south of Pine, giving the Tonto National Forest a huge edge in protecting our Pine Strawberry communities from the catastrophic effects of a devastating wildfire. PSFR would like to continue to partner with all the organizations which can help accomplish this vitally important task. We will need additional community support in order to continue to help fund very important restoration projects.
Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction, Inc. is a completely volunteer, nonprofit community organization and is dependent entirely upon private donations and grants for its operation. Help us keep the Pine Strawberry area safe from catastrophic wildfire by continuing to expand our fuel breaks and by donating to our organization.