Friends of Northern Arizona Forests

Friends of Northern Arizona Forest's Aspen Program

After fire, disease, or insects have killed the visible trees, aspen clones sprout from their massive root systems. To survive and grow to maturity, the seedlings and saplings need protection from browsing by elk, deer, and livestock.

The Coconino National Forest contains approximately 54 aspen “exclosures:” areas fenced to exclude elk, deer, and livestock. The locations range from the Hochderffer Hills (just north of the San Francisco Peaks) to five miles south of Mormon Lake. Experience has shown that the fences around young aspen need to be maintained for 20 to 30 years. If the fences are removed any sooner or are allowed to deteriorate the elk, deer, and livestock make short work of the young aspen.

The Forest Service is also starting a project to restore aspen on some 3200 acres in the Hart Prairie area (immediately west of the San Francisco Peaks).

You can join work parties that cut out trees that have fallen on fences and repair fences that have been damaged or deliberately cut (by the irresponsible). You can build new fences or rebuild existing fences to endure for the 20 to 30 years that are now recognized as the necessary time span. You can post signs and monitor exclosures periodically. There’s a way to help for persons of all abilities and strengths.

For details about the next aspen workday, go to the Events Calendar page.

To participate or for more information, contact Friends of Northern Arizona Forests member Dave Downes. Phone: 928-522-9207 Email:

Western Aspen Alliance

Here's an organization that you can join (for free) or just consult for up-to-date-information about aspen. Also, you can get the newsletter electronically.

The Western Aspen Alliance is a joint venture among Utah State University’s College of Natural Resources, USDI Bureau of Land Management, and the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station and National Forest Systems. Its purpose is to facilitate and coordinate research issues related to quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) communities of the West. The Western Aspen Alliance (WAA undefined pronounced “way”) will facilitate cooperative research and disseminate state-of-the-science aspen information to interested managers, researchers, the public, and other entities.

Or, to put it in different words, the overall goal of the Western Aspen Alliance is to facilitate effective and appropriate management of aspen ecosystems in Western North America through coordinated scientific efforts and shared information.

WAA publishes a colorful and fascinating newsletter. It appears several times a year.

Here's a link to WAA's website: .

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