Friends of Northern Arizona Forests

Woody Ridge Wildlife Corridor

On behalf of the Arizona Wildlife Federation (AWF), the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AG&FD), the Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation Council, and the United States Forest Service’s Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI), I would like to ask you to partner with us in a very important wildlife corridor project.

As you know, quality wildlife habitat must provide food, water, space, and the ability of wildlife to move between these areas. As our public lands become more fragmented with roads, fencing, energy projects, and numerous other obstacles, the ability to move as needed has become severely impaired in many areas. The staff at the Region II office of AG&FD in Flagstaff has developed a project entitled “Comprehensive Wildlife Habitat Improvement of the Woody Ridge Wildlife Corridor: Promoting ecosystem restoration and wildlife habitat connectivity in northern Arizona.”

Where is the Woody Ridge Wildlife Corridor? The corridor lies to the southwest of Flagstaff. It runs along the east side of Rogers Lake and extends from I-40 southward over Woody Mountain and thence along Woody Ridge to the canyons just west of Oak Creek in the Sedona area.

Consistent with previous planning efforts, the corridor project proposes closing and decommissioning unnecessary roads and trails, removing or modifying fences to wildlife-friendly specifications, and treating infestations of invasive weeds. These actions, in combination with 4FRI thinning and prescribed burning, will improve wildlife habitat in a crucial movement corridor by ameliorating the effects of recreation and by restoring forest function.

Woody Ridge is recognized as an essential wildlife linkage by numerous stakeholders, and planning for wildlife corridors is a key objective of the 4FRI collaborative. By strategically focusing our restoration activities within the Woody Ridge wildlife corridor, we expect to make the most efficient and effective use of resources on the ground. Road, fence, and weed work will be accomplished primarily by volunteers, who will be supported by partner agencies and conservation groups.

---Tom Mackin, President of Arizona Wildlife Federation and board member of FoNAF

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