FORESTS AND WATERSHED HEALTH

FORESTS AND WATERSHED HEALTH

Northern Arizona Forest Fund: Protecting the future

The National Forests in Northern Arizona provide most of the water to the Salt and Verde Rivers, which are vital surface water supplies to downstream users in the greater Phoenix metropolitan areas.

The Northern Arizona Forest Fund (NAFF), a partnership between SRP and the National Forest Foundation, provides an easy way for businesses and residents of Arizona to invest in the lands and watersheds they depend on.

The NAFF supports high priority restoration projects on National Forests in the Salt and Verde River watersheds, including:

  • Forest thinning and prescribed burning
  • Stream and wetland restoration
  • Sediment and erosion management
  • Habitat improvement and revegetation projects

A complete summaryDocument is a PDF. of NAFF's mission and work is also available. Additional information is available from the National Forest Foundation.

2017 projects

In 2017, the NAFF offers Arizona businesses the opportunity to invest in seven important projects in northern Arizona:

The solution

Developed by Salt River Project and the National Forest Foundation, NAFF provides an easy way for businesses and residents of Arizona to invest in the lands and watersheds they depend on. With declining forest health and tighter federal budgets, local partnerships and active stewardship are more critical than ever.

The NAFF's projects will reduce wildfire risk, improve streams and wetlands, enhance wildlife habitat, restore native plants, and limit erosion and sediment into Arizona streams, rivers, and reservoirs. The NAFF's projects will also create jobs and provide volunteer opportunities in local communities through partnerships with local conservation and stewardship groups.

How it works

On a regular basis, funds will be deployed to complete high priority restoration projects on National Forests in the Salt and Verde River watersheds. Types of projects will include:

  • Forest Thinning and Prescribed Burning – Restore natural fire to the forest ecosystem, mechanically thin small-diameter trees to reduce fuel loading, minimize bark beetle impact, and improve understory and soil conditions.
  • Stream and Wetland Restoration – Restore and stabilize stream banks, reconstruct and enhance wetlands, and install fencing to protect sensitive habitats.
  • Sediment and Erosion Management – Improve runoff and drainage conditions, and reduce sediment loading into springs, streams and wet meadows
  • Habitat Improvement and Re-vegetation Projects – Improve and restore aspen forests, grasslands, wet meadows and other important forest and woodland habitats

Contributions to the NAFF will be collected by the National Forest Foundation and awarded to local non-profit stewardship organizations, local contractors, and the U.S. Forest Service to implement high priority projects on the Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott, and Tonto National Forests.

Tangible results

To provide contributors with clear expectations on how funds will be spent and the benefits provided, the National Forest Foundation and the Salt River Project will work with the U.S. Forest Service to identify an annual list of priority projects that will improve the health and resiliency of National Forest lands in the Salt and Verde River watersheds.

Each year, contributors will receive official reports detailing stewardship accomplishments associated with these priority projects.

2016 summaries:

Benefits of participation

In addition to helping ensure the health and sustainability of Northern Arizona's forests, participating businesses can enjoy significant marketing benefits.

Participating businesses will receive marketing opportunities to show how their contributions have been used to protect Northern Arizona's National Forests and watersheds. Participating businesses can be recognized in the NFF's magazine (distributed nationwide to 50,000 people), annual report, and website.

We will also work with your business to help develop marketing materials that communicate partnership information to your customers and the community. Lastly, through the National Forest Foundation's Friends of the Forest Days volunteer events, participating businesses can involve their employees in hands-on stewardship.