SAFFORD — Cunningham Campground, on the Safford Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest, is temporarily closed for public safety during logging operations on Mount Graham.
The campground is scheduled to remain closed until Oct. 11, although it could reopen at an earlier date if the project is completed sooner than planned.
The project to remove hazardous fuels from the landscape and is being implemented as part of the Pinaleno Ecosystem Restoration Project, done in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Heavy equipment will be in use in and around the campground, which will be closed to provide for public safety and allow crews to operate safely and efficiently. Logging operations will be conducted from Columbine to Snow Flat. Drivers are encouraged to use caution on Swift Trail due to logging traffic.
Historically, vegetation levels were maintained at relatively low levels by periodic lightning-ignited wildfires. During the last century of fire suppression, vegetation including trees and brush has grown and accumulated at unnaturally high levels that can carry wildfires of higher intensity than those that previously burned across landscapes.
Removal of excessive vegetation will improve wildlife habitat and watershed condition, and reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire in the project area and surrounding vicinity.
Other developed campgrounds in the area remain open, including: Shannon, Soldier Creek, Columbine Corrals, Riggs Lake, Arcadia, Twilight and Upper Hospital Flat.