Legacy Bird Species at Risk Monitoring in and Around Camp Navajo and the Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station, AZ
ARIZONA GAME AND FISH DEPT PHOENIX AZ
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Two Department of Defense DoD installations, Camp Navajo Army Depot and Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station NOFS are located approximately 10 miles west of Flagstaff, Arizona. Arizona ponderosa pine forests are described as having a 2-20 year fire frequency prior to European settlement, facilitating a grass-herbaceous understory beneath a mosaic of widely-spaced mature trees Covington and Moore 1994, Covington et al. 1997, Moore et al. 1999. This landscape has changed markedly since the mid 19th century due to a convergence of complex stressors such as overgrazing, timber harvest, drought, and fire suppression Allen et al. 2002, Moore et al. 2004. Currently, most Arizona pine forests are overstocked with dense thickets of smaller trees and high accumulations of forest litter, posing a high risk of catastrophic wildfire Moore et al. 2004. High intensity wildfire at Camp Navajo or NOFS could destroy forest cover necessary for realistic training, could negatively affect the sustainability of training ranges and could damage high value mission-essential equipment. As such, both Camp Navajo and NOFS have recently initiated plans to reduce the risk of wildfire at their facilities by restoring their forests through a combination of thinning and burning, thereby ensuring the uninterrupted completion of mission-critical activities. Camp Navajo and NOFS have also joined a partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service USFWS, US Forest Service USFS, Arizona State Lands Department ASLD and Arizona Game and Fish Department AZGFD to monitor species recognized by the Arizona Partners in Flight PIF as a conservation priority including the Cordilleran flycatcher Empidonax occidentalis and the Olive-sided flycatcher Contopus cooperi Latta et al. 1999. The primary goal of the partnership is to work proactively to conserve these species and prevent federal listing, thereby facilitating agency missions.
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