Hikers along the Lower Cliff Dwelling Trail at Tonto National Monument can now help the park keep track of the recovery and restoration after the Woodbury Fire of 2019. Large scale fire is not a natural occurrence in the Sonoran Desert. The Post Woodbury Fire Restoration plan is designed to repair and improve lands unlikely to recover naturally with rehabilitation treatments proven to have a high probability of success.
Tonto National Monument is interested in long-term changes to its Sonoran Desert plant communities. We are partnering with Chronolog, an environmental monitoring project that is powered by citizen scientists. Chronolog is a web-based system, utilizing a crowdsourced photo time lapse of each ecosystem. The Lower Cliff Dwelling Trail station is the first in the park. Along the trail visitors can now help the park keep track of how the Sonoran Desert ecosystem is responding to restoration efforts following the 2019 Woodbury Fire. The Sonoran Desert is not fire adapted and the fire burned iconic saguaros, hedgehog cacti, agave, and more, severely impacting the ecosystem health and introducing invasive Red Brome (Bromus rubens) into the area. Through each month of photos, we hope to track changes in the ecosystem over time.