White Mountain Apache Rx

Sponsors and Partners:

White Mountain Apache Nation Forestry, Northern Arizona University, Inmate Nature Rehabilitation Program, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, National Forest Foundation, American Forests, Arbor Day Foundation, Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, Bureau of Indian Affairs Youth Program

Project Duration: 2017-Current

Project Overview

White Mountain Apache Nation Reforestation Prescription

The Land:

We are collaborating with the White Mountain Apache Nation to restore post-fire landscapes and degraded riparian areas. A total of over 200,000 trees have been planted and hundreds of acres of exotic plant species have been removed. Mega-fires such as the Rodeo-Chediski and Wallow Fires impacted nearly one million acres – the largest fire scars in the southwestern United States. 

The People:

We have been working with tribal forestry to plan and implement ecological restoration treatments in upland conifer forests and riparian zones. The White Mountain Apache Tribe has their own nursery facility and we are collaborating to keep it filled with trees for these project as well as helping to promote sales of trees to other regional projects. We are working closely within the tribal capital of WhiteRiver to develop youth programs and school programs that participate in tree planting efforts and gain experience in greenhouse management.

The Restoration:

Post-fire reforestation has focused on tree planting in the Rodeo-Chediski Fire on Apache land and in the Wallow Fire on National Forest land. In addition, we are working on restoring a 60-mile stretch of the Salt River. The Salt River has been heavily encroached by the exotic tamarisk tree. Our efforts include removing tamarisk and restoring with native vegetation. In 2023, Ecoculture and White Mountain Apache Forestry rafted through difficult to access stretches of the river and planted trees – trees were hauled on rafts to planting sites.