Legacy Trails Program Awardee


Camp Creek Watershed Improvement

The Forest Service is directed to improve and maintain watershed condition. Using the Watershed Condition Framework watershed condition classification ruleset, the Tonto NF has determined that the Camp Creek Watershed, located within the Cave Creek ranger district, is impaired and has created a watershed restoration action plan to improve the condition to functioning. One of the key essential projects to improve watershed condition is decommissioning and rehabilitating system and unauthorized user routes.

Applicant: Tread Lightly!, Inc.
Project Location: Cave Creek Ranger District, Tonto National Forest, Arizona
Amount Awarded: $74,635.00

Tonto NF, Cave Creek district will partner with Tread Lightly to rehabilitate and restore 24.8 miles of routes identified for decommissioning in the 2021 Travel Management record of decision. The work will include eliminating existing roadbeds by restoring natural contours and slopes, reestablishing drainage patterns, restoring vegetation, and blocking access to restored areas to prevent future use. Signs and fencing will be installed to educate the recreating public about the “why” of route decommissioning and to ensure that closed areas are not reopened.

This project will reduce erosion in the watershed by removing routes that are unsustainable and actively eroding. All the routes within this phase of the project were selected because they are hydrologically connected to intermittent streams within the area. By decommissioning these routes, we will be reducing sediment within those drainages, which not only will decrease turbidity but may also decrease other water quality parameters such as E. coli. Camp Creek, the primary drainage within the watershed empties into the Verde River, which is one of the two primary rivers that supply surface water to the city of Phoenix and surrounding cities through the Salt River Project. Because this watershed and the project is below the lowest dam on the river system, any sediment from Camp Creek flows directly into the Verde and then the water treatment facilities for the municipal water supply system, making controlling sediment in Camp Creek particularly important.

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222 views • posted 05/25/2023