Canyonlands: Tales from Narrow Places

Removing tamarisk from Apache Creek

Posted in Northern Arizona & the Mogollon Rim by canyoneering on February 17, 2013

Apache Creek
Apache Creek Wilderness Area, Prescott National Forest
09/28/12 – 09/30/12


The Wilderness Act of 1964 created a legal definition of wilderness in the United States. It set aside over nine million acres to be protected so they can exist in their natural state or as close to their natural state as possible. Today that has expanded to over 109 million acres. Arizona has 90 wilderness areas covering over 4.5 million acres. After a decade of assessment of these lands, Arizona’s wilderness areas scored low. One of the areas assessed was non-native and invasive plants. Arizona is home to a number of these plants but probably none are more notorious than tamarisk, also known as the salt cedar. The plant was imported to the Southwest in the 19th century for erosion control. Since then it has run rampant, particularly in river corridors and smaller water drainages. It lays a deep root system and deposits salts on the top layer of soil preventing native plants from growing. It seeds year round, responds well to fire and is challenging to kill. You can see why it has become such a problem in Arizona.

Arizona Republic reporter Ron Dungan and I spent three days and two nights documenting volunteers from the Arizona Wilderness Coalition during their mission to eradicate tamarisk from the pristine and remote Apache Creek Wilderness Area in the Prescott National Forest. Though I was working hard lugging around heavy camera and video equipment through this rugged wilderness it pales in comparison to the tedious and exhausting labor performed by these wilderness volunteers.

– David

Read Ron Dungan’s story by clicking here.

For more info about Arizona’s wilderness areas & volunteering check out the Arizona Wilderness Coalition website. 

2012 Year in Photos

Posted in Uncategorized by canyoneering on February 4, 2013


2012 was a very special year in the canyon lands. Crossing the Atlantic for our first international descents to a successful run at Poe Canyon may have been the highlights but there were many other equally special moments in between. Below is a collection of those moments in our favorite photos of the year. We hope you enjoy.

– Laura and David