Wood Collection in January and February
February 15 NFS Update: Visitors to the canyon should expect to encounter down branches on the trails until crews are able to remove the debris. For example, the Super Trail is blocked by trees that have blown down approximately ½ mile beyond Josephine Saddle. Recreationists are encouraged to use caution while in and around Madera Canyon. Trail crews are working diligently to clear and open the trails. The canyon will remain open to hiking as the debris is removed.
You may see some firewood collection activities in the canyon from January 20 through February 28, 2017. The Nogales Ranger District, Coronado National Forest is issuing fuel wood permits for Madera Canyon. A recent storm caused wood to be blown down.
Permits are issued free-of-charge at the Nogales Ranger District Office, 303 Old Tucson Road in Nogales, Arizona. Interested parties should leave a text message for Patrick Wercinski at (520) 343-1866, Friday through Tuesday, between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. to make an appointment to obtain a permit. At that time collection location, time of collection and safety concerns will be addressed, as this is a period of high visitor use in Madera Canyon.
All those collecting must keep vehicles on existing roads. No off-road vehicle use will be allowed to load wood.
For further information contact the Nogales Ranger District Office at (520) 281-2296 between 8:00 AM. and 4:30 PM. Monday through Friday.
With lofty mountain peaks, forested slopes, seasonal streams, and an amazing variety of plants and wildlife, Madera Canyon has become a popular recreational destination. Madera's hiking trails are applauded throughout the Southwest, and vary from paved, handicap-accessible trails and gentle walking paths in the lower canyon, to steep, expert trails leading to the top of 9,453-foot Mt. Wrightson.
Southeastern Arizona, with Madera Canyon at its heart, is rated the third best birding destination in the United States. With fifteen species of hummingbirds, Elegant Trogon, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Flame-colored Tanager, 36 species of wood warblers, and over 256 species of birds documented, it is a "required" site for all serious birders.
It is unusual to spend any time in Madera Canyon without seeing signs of wildlife. White-tailed and Mule Deer, rabbits, Wild Turkeys, and squirrels are regularly observed. Other animals like Black Bear, Coati, foxes, Ring-tailed Cats, Raccoons, Bobcats, and Mountain Lion are more shy and only occasionally seen. Sixteen species of bats have been recorded in the Canyon.
Because Madera Canyon and Madera Creek traverse four life zones and many habitats between the desert floor and the mountaintops, the Santa Rita Mountains in which Madera Canyon resides, has become a world-famous sky island known for its unique and abundant flora and fauna - from Prickly-Pear cactus in the lower Canyon to Douglas Fir and Quaking Aspen on Mt. Wrightson.
Please consider joining the Friends of Madera Canyon. It will provide you access to many interesting and fulfilling volunteer opportunities, but your best reward will be knowing that you have helped preserve this special piece of our Nation's wilderness habitat.
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