2016 Chiricahua NM - Wilderness Volunteers
Wilderness Volunteers: 2016 Chiricahua National Monument Service Trip

Wilderness Volunteers: 2016 Chiricahua National Monument Service Trip

"A mountain island in a desert sea" is how the Chiricahua Mountains were described by writer Natt N. Dodge in a 1943 article in Arizona Highways Magazine, leading to the formation of the concept of Sky Islands - isolated mountains that rise drastically without foothills or preamble from radically different lowland environments. With interesting implications for natural habitats and biodiversity, it also means striking views for the casual visitor. Few sky islands, however, can boast the impressive array of rock formations of the Chiricahua National Monument. Hoodoos and other wild rock shapes are the main attraction of this 11,985 acre Monument, remnants of a huge volcanic eruption 25 million years ago.

The Chiricahua Mountains, part of the traditional homeland of the Chiricahua Band of the Apache Nation, including Cochise and Geronimo, are filled with ponderosa pine at higher elevations that give way to the desert flora of yucca and an abundance of cacti in the desert below. The diversity extends to animals as well as the white-tailed deer, black bear and mountain lions that we are familiar with in more northern zones, roam alongside coatimundi, peccary and even the occasional jaguar. Almost 200 species of birds have been spotted throughout the monument as well as lots of fascinating reptiles.

Our service project was assisting the National Park Service with maintaining more the more than 19 miles of trail within the monument.

For more information: http://www.WildernessVolunteers.org

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