Southern Arizona Hiking Club

Hiking the Mountains, Canyons & Trails of Southern Arizona for Over 60 Years

Coconino National Forest Closure

The Coconino National Forest announced Friday that portions of the forest will close to visitation due to extreme wildfire danger beginning Wednesday, May 23. Forest closures affect trails, campgrounds, roads, and all recreational activities within the closure areas. Closures include the Mogollon Rim Ranger District and portions of the Flagstaff Ranger District, including the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. This impacts portions of most of the Arizona Trail passages between Blue Ridge and Babbitt Ranch.

For maps and details of the specific closure areas, click here.

More closures are anticipated on the Tonto and Kaibab National Forests, and possibly the Coronado. Until it rains and wildfire danger is reduced, the forest(s) will be off-limits to all visitation. Violating closures carries a mandatory appearance in federal court, punishable as a Class B misdemeanor with a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or up to six months in prison, or both.

For further information about fire restrictions in the Coconino National Forest, please call the Fire Restriction Hotline at 928-226-4607.

Before you travel this summer, check the current restrictions and observe all forest closures and fire restrictions. We all need to work together to protect our forests from catastrophic fires and ensure public safety during this summer, which has been described as the potentially most volatile wildfire season in recent history.


In September SAHC will need to fill the Special Programs Coordinator position.  This position can be held by an elected board member or by SAHC Support Staff (Non-elected).  There are only 4 Special Events per year.

September – Presidents Day (3rd Saturday in September)
December – Program/Anniversary Celebration (3
rd Tuesday in December)
January – Winter Picnic (last Saturday in January)
May – Spring Picnic (first Saturday in May)

If interested in this position please contact
President Bob Cardell ** ( 401-4003
or current Special Programs Coordinator Bev Larson ( 404-7360


The Nominating Committee (Ron Birdsong, Nancy Debolt, Gail Kamaras and Tom Tutein) is pleased to announce the following candidate slate for the 2018 election:

Chief Guide: Will Whitaker

*Treasurer: Pat Hammas

Members-at-Large (three positions open): Cathy Della Penta, Jim Hambacher, Gail Kamaras, Laurel Kracen, Melissa McClung

*Although Pat Hammas was elected as SAHC Treasurer last year in 2017, the election schedule has been realigned so two of the officers come up for election each year, a more balanced situation for club management. Officers consist of President, Chief Guide, Treasurer and Secretary. Pat Hammes has offered to run for re-election as Treasurer again in 2018. Thank you, Pat.

In addition to the candidates recommended by the Nominating Committee, club members may nominate themselves for any of these positions by presenting to the board a written nominating petition endorsed by at least five club members. The deadline for this petition is by the 7:00 pm start of the board meeting on Thursday, July 3, 2017.

Please take the opportunity to get to know the candidates prior to the September election.

Lynn Ratener

Nominating Committee Chairperson

Karen Dezso

We lost a long time member and good friend, Karen Dezso, on Friday April 13th.  Karen was sixty-three years old and died of cardiac arrest following pneumonia. She is survived by her husband, Mark, and her two sons, Christopher and Benjamin. 

Karen was a regular Monday morning Blackett’s hiker and hiked with us on Saturdays when her work schedule allowed. Our Blackett’s group is greatly saddened by her passing and will miss her forever. We extend our deepest sympathy to her family. 

Preliminary Proposed Plan for the Tonto National Forest is Available for Public Comment!

The Tonto National Forest is now accepting formal comments on the Preliminary Proposed Plan. The Preliminary Proposed Plan (PPP) is the first step in revising the current land and resource management plan. The PPP was developed based on public and resource specialist feedback and is intended to update the 1985 Tonto Plan as well as address the issues identified in the assessment. It consists of desired conditions, objectives, standards, guidelines, and management approaches for forest resources. Learn more about the Preliminary Proposed Plan by viewing thisvideoproduced by the Tonto Plan Revision team.

The Tonto National Forest has allocated a 45-day formal comment period for the PPP, which begins today November 6th, 2017. The Preliminary Proposed Plan may be obtained by visiting, emailing, or calling (602) 225-5200 to request a copy.

Comments on the Preliminary Proposed Plan are most useful if received by December 21, 2017. Comments on the Preliminary Proposed Plan can be submitted in the following ways:

  • By e-mail to:
  • By mail to: Tonto National Forest, Tonto Plan Revision, 2324 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85006

Other Ways to Get Involved: The Tonto National Forest is committed to collaborating with the public at various stages throughout the planning process. As a part of public participation in the forest plan revision process, the Tonto National Forest will host eight Plan Revision Public Meetings this month to discuss thePreliminary Proposed Plan. The dates and locations of these public meetings can be found on