FORESTS AND WATERSHED HEALTH

FORESTS AND WATERSHED HEALTH

Restoring the C.C. Cragin watersheds

The C.C. Cragin watershed is listed as a priority watershed within the Western Watershed Enhancement Partnership and is a critical water supply for the town of Payson, communities in northern Gila County and SRP shareholders.

SRP, together with the Town of Payson, the National Forest Foundation, Coconino National Forest and the Bureau of Reclamation launched an initiative in 2014 to accelerate the restoration of forest lands that feed C.C. Cragin Reservoir.

The initiative, the Cragin Watershed Protection Project (CWPP) , was designed to reduce the risk of wildfire and the ensuing impacts to water supplies, quality, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities. The environmental assessment performed as part of the CWPP focused on approximately 64,000 acres of land surrounding C.C. Cragin reservoir, which include the three watersheds that drain into it: East Clear Creek, Bear Canyon and Miller Canyon.

CWPP Status

The environmental assessment was completed in 2018 with approximately 37,000 acres within the assessment area identified to begin wildfire remediation efforts, which includes forest thinning. The decision notice , with these outcomes described, for the CWPP was published in July 2018.

In November 2018, SRP notified the U.S. Forest Service that it would be moving forward with additional partners to collectively work on the thinning projects. By leveraging existing agreements, SRP was able to move quickly on the projects to ensure the watersheds' health and support the impacted communities.