The Woodbury Fire primarily in the Superstition Wilderness Area (SWA), captured the interest of the entire state as it burned nearly 124,000 acres only a few months ago. Now that it is over, just how was it confined almost totally to the Superstition Wilderness Area —and without loss or serious injury to any firefighters or human structures? What will be the short and long term effects of the fire - on plant communities and ecosystems? On wildlife, from game animals to insects to snakes to birds? On petroglyphs and other archeological artifacts? On soils and their future productivity and their susceptibility to erosion? On scenic values? On the trails and related signage? Thinking of all the above, just what is in the SWA - particularly in the interior, where only the more adventurous of us have gone?

All these questions and more will be explored in the upcoming SALT Speakers Series on “Fire in the Superstitions” beginning Oct. 9.

The first session will feature Ted Tenny, a local trail guide and avid hiker in the Superstitions and beyond, and Tonto National Forest Archeologist Steve Germick discussing the “Fire in the Superstitions: Trails, Terrain and Archeology of the SWA.” Following sessions on Oct. 23rd, Nov. 13th and 20th and Dec. 11th will cover the Woodbury Fire itself and how it was fought and influenced; the assessment of damage by the BAER Team and how to limit the adverse consequences; how the various ecosystems and plant life were affected and are expected to recover; and finally how wildlife were affected by the fire and are expected to be affected over the next several decades. Might there be positive outcomes?

These talks will be part of the SALT Speakers Series, which is co-sponsored by the Superstition Area Land Trust (SALT) and the Apache Junction Parks & Recreation Department. Tonto National Forest and Arizona Game and Fish Department are providing speakers for the “Fire In The Superstitions” series. The series is held in the Apache Junction Multigenerational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Rd., from 6:30-7:30 p.m., in Rm. B-117. Most are on the second and fourth Wednesdays. All are free and geared for the public.

Ted Tenny’s career began in aerospace engineering and continued in computer science. He happily transferred to Arizona in 1991, then retired here to hike the Southwest in the middle of the week instead of only on vacations. He has published a hiking guide and a number of hiking articles. He is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Arizona Trail Association.

Steve Germick has been an archeologist with Tonto National Forest since 1988. He received his education and professional training at Northern Arizona University, following which he worked in archeology at Besh-Ba-Gowah Archeological Park in Globe, AZ, before moving to the National Forest Service. He has done extensive work throughout the Tonto National Forest, including on sites covered by the waters of some of the Salt River Lakes.

SALT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Speakers Series events take place on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, October-April. You can learn more about us, what we do and how to join and/or contribute at azsalt.org

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