Help Survey Wilderness Springs in the Sky Islands

We’re excited to announce a big push in our campaign to survey springs in wilderness areas of the Coronado National Forest. As defined by the Wilderness Act of 1964, wilderness is an area where the Earth and its community of life are “untrammeled” by people, and where we are but visitors who do not remain. Wilderness has particular benefits for wildlife and the land itself, of course — less outside pressure, more resources and space, no motor vehicles and human structures. But wilderness also presents unique opportunities for people to experience and connect with nature and be in solitude.

The Coronado National Forest has a stewardship plan which focuses on many aspects of wilderness conservation, including water sources. So, in 2024, in partnership with the Forest Service and the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, we’re planning to survey springs using our Spring Seeker app so we can provide baseline data and recommendations to the agencies and help enhance the wild character of these oases. Over the course of the year, we’ve scheduled five weekends to explore the wilderness areas that remain largely unsurveyed in the Coronado. We need your help to become Spring Seekers and join us on these wilderness treks.

Mark your calendar with the dates below, and stay tuned for another training workshop in Tucson (the Feb. 15 event is full). And check our newsletter regularly for full details on the five trips. Registration links will be shared soon.

Events

  • Feb. 15: Workshop: Springs Trip Planning and Navigation, 6-9 p.m. (SIA Tucson Office) — full
  • March 8-10: Wilderness Springs Survey Trip (Galiuro Mountains)
  • April 12-14: Wilderness Springs Survey Trip (Santa Teresa Mountains) — tentative
  • May 10-12: Wilderness Springs Survey Trip (Chiricahua Mountains)
  • May 24-27: Wilderness Springs Survey Trip (Galiuro Mountains)
  • TBD: Wilderness Springs Survey Trip (Galiuro Mountains)

Project Scope

In the map below, you can see the wilderness areas in yellow and springs that haven’t yet been surveyed in blue (purple dots are where we already have spring surveys completed). A previous iteration of this same project targeted the Miller Peak and Mount Wrightson wildernesses in the Huachuca and Santa Rita mountains, respectively. As you can see, most of the known springs there have been surveyed recently.


 

Photos From Our First Trip

In November 2023, a group of intrepid volunteers joined us for the kickoff event in this campaign by surveying springs in the Pajarita Wilderness of southern Arizona’s Atascosa Mountains. We look forward to more successful trips with our volunteers!