by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Tonto

National Monument - Arizona

Tonto National Monument is a National Monument in the Superstition Mountains, in Gila County of central Arizona. The area lies on the northeastern edge of the Sonoran Desert ecoregion, an arid habitat with annual rainfall of about 16 inches here.

maps

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) (Modified Alternative C) of Tonto National Forest (NF). Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Tonto MVUM - Modified Alternative C

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) (Modified Alternative C) of Tonto National Forest (NF). Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Gila County Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).AZ Surface Management Responsibility - Gila County

Gila County Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Statewide Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).AZ Surface Management Responsibility - Arizona State

Statewide Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

https://www.nps.gov/tont/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonto_National_Monument Tonto National Monument is a National Monument in the Superstition Mountains, in Gila County of central Arizona. The area lies on the northeastern edge of the Sonoran Desert ecoregion, an arid habitat with annual rainfall of about 16 inches here. The Salado Phenomena, 700 years ago, blended ideas of neighboring Native American cultures to emerge a unique and vibrant society. Tonto National Monument showcases two Salado-style cliff dwellings. Colorful pottery, woven cotton cloth, and other artifacts tell a story of people living and using resources from the northern Sonoran Desert from 1250 to 1450 CE. The cliff dwellings at Tonto National Monument are roughly two hours from the Phoenix metro area, located in the Tonto Basin. The Monument is off AZ Highway 188 near Roosevelt Lake. The nearest major towns are Globe (30 miles) and Payson (50 miles). See our Directions page for recommendations on the best way to drive here from the larger metro areas of Arizona. Visitor Center The Visitor Center offers an introduction on the people who built the dwellings 700 years ago. Artifacts and replicas of pottery and textiles are on display in the museum while the park store, operated by Western National Parks Association, sells educational items. The 20-minute park movie, located on the upstairs viewing platform, shows on demand throughout the day. Ask park staff for accessible movie options. Located near Roosevelt Lake on Highway 188. Tonto National Monument is 2 hours from the Phoenix area and about 3 hours from Flagstaff or Tucson, Arizona. The nearest major town is Globe, Arizona. Lower Cliff Dwelling cliff dwelling in the spring with desert plants and wildflowers. The Lower Cliff Dwelling in Spring Saguaro Cactus Hillside with Saguaro Cactus Hillside with Saguaro Cactus near the Lower Cliff Dwelling Visitor Center Dwelling Visitor Center with cliff dwelling and a rainbow in the background. The Visitor Center sits below the Lower Cliff Dwelling Upper Cliff Dwelling Two story rooms of the Upper Cliff Dwelling. Front view of the Upper Cliff Dwelling. Upper Cliff Dwelling The view looking out from the cliff dwelling over Roosevelt Lake. The view from the back of the Upper Cliff Dwelling. It’s Alive! Biological Soil Crusts of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts It might come as a surprise to learn that in the sublime expanses of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, some of the most interesting life around can be found in the dirt right in front of your feet! Biological soil crusts form a living groundcover that is the foundation of desert plant life. Soil crust at White Sands National Monument Saguaro Cactus: Sentinel of the Southwest The saguaro cactus is the largest cactus in the U.S., commonly reaching 40 feet in height. The saguaro provides both food and shelter for a variety of desert species and plays an integral role in the culture of the Tohono O’odham people. It has been written that the saguaro can be ecologically connected to nearly every other organism in its range, including humans. Saguaro cacti at Saguaro National Park Climate and Water Monitoring at Tonto National Monument, Water Year 2018 At Tonto National Monument, the built environment reflects the historical importance of reliable water sources. The Sonoran Desert Network monitors climate, groundwater, and springs at this park. Understanding changes in these closely linked factors helps managers make informed decisions affecting both natural and cultural resources. Learn about our recent findings. A metal box attached to a pole stands on a hillside above a valley. A solar panel powers the box. Monitoring Upland Vegetation and Soils in the Sonoran Desert and Chihuahuan Desert Networks Vegetation and soils are two of many natural resources monitored by the National Park Service (NPS) Division of Inventory & Monitoring (I&M). Learning about vegetation dynamics helps us to better understand the integrity of ecological processes, productivity trends, and ecosystem interactions that can otherwise be difficult to monitor. In NPS units of the American Southwest, three I&M networks monitor vegetation and soils using the scientific protocol described here. Quadrat used for biological soil crust sampling Dendrochronology at Tonto National Monument Dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating, has assisted archeologists in assigning calendar dates to archeological sites since the early twentieth century. This dating method has played a large and yet disappointing role in assisting archeologists in determining the dates of occupation at the Upper and Lower Cliff Dwellings at Tonto National Monument. Tonto upper dwelling roof beams Protecting Cliff Dwellings from Wildfire In the summer of 2019, the impending wild Woodbury Fire in the nearby Superstition Wilderness threatened the preserved wood found in these ancient structures. Protecting these cliff dwellings from the fire was a major priority for Tonto National Monument. The Integrated Resources staff decided to cover the cliff dwellings in a fire resistant aluminized structure wrap to shield the prehistoric wood, and preserve the dwellings as a whole. Modern wood wrapped by fire crew Roosevelt Red Wares and Salado Polychrome Salado polychrome ceramics, a variety of Roosevelt Red Ware, were the most abundant decorated ware of the Classic period (A.D. 1275 - 1450) southern Southwest. Gila polychrome Wildland Fire in Ponderosa Pine: Western United States This forest community generally exists in areas with annual rainfall of 25 inches or less. Extensive pure stands of this forest type are found in the southwestern U.S., central Washington and Oregon, southern Idaho and the Black Hills of South Dakota. Recently burned ponderosa pine forest. Southwest River Environments In the arid Southwest, water means life, and prehistorically, rivers were the lifelines of the people. The Colorado River flowing through a canyon Transition Highlands and the Mogollon Rim The Transition Highlands, or Central Mountains, consist of numerous rugged low mountains marking the boundary between the tablelands of the Colorado Plateau and the southern deserts. Looking out from the Gila Cliff Dwellings What Does Salado Mean? The origins and disappearance of the Salado inhabitants of the Tonto Basin has perplexed archeologists for many years. The Lower Cliff Dwelling at Tonto National Monument. Climate Monitoring in the Southern Plains, Sonoran Desert, and Chihuahuan Desert Climate is one of many ecological indicators monitored by the National Park Service (NPS) Division of Inventory & Monitoring (I&M). Climate data help scientists to understand ecosystem processes and help to explain many of the patterns and trends observed in other natural-resource monitoring. In NPS units of the American Southwest, three I&M networks monitor climate using the scientific protocol described here. Kayaking across a fl ooded parking lot, Chickasaw NRA, July 2007. Saguaro Cactus Growth The saguaro cactus is the signature plant of the Sonoran Desert. This stately giant is not only unique in appearance, it is also unique in its biology and ecological niche. blooming saguaro Geology at Tonto National Monument The geology of Tonto National Monument played an essential role in the lives of the Salado people, providing the raw material from which they shaped tools and the building blocks for their dwellings and terraces. Gila conglomerate Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Defining the Southwest The Southwest has a special place in the American imagination – one filled with canyon lands, cacti, roadrunners, perpetual desert heat, a glaring sun, and the unfolding of history in places like Tombstone and Santa Fe. In the American mind, the Southwest is a place without boundaries – a land with its own style and its own pace – a land that ultimately defies a single definition. Maize agriculture is one component of a general cultural definition of the Southwest. Series: Salado Overview The origins and disappearance of the Salado inhabitants of the Tonto Basin has perplexed archeologists for many years. Cliff dwelling, Tonto National Monument Saguaro Trail Crew Assists with Post-Fire Trail Damage at Tonto National Monument The 2019 Woodbury fire impacted soil conditions creating unstable trails, increased flood hazard, and created greater risk of falling rocks or trees. In fall 2019, a trail crew from Saguaro National Park assisted Tonto National Monument mitigating trail damage that resulted from soil movement after the Woodbury Fire. Left: damaged eroding trail with logs next to trail; Right: rebuilt trail with gabion in place. NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Tonto National Monument, Arizona Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. [Site Under Development] cliff dwellings The Precambrian The Precambrian was the "Age of Early Life." During the Precambrian, continents formed and our modern atmosphere developed, while early life evolved and flourished. Soft-bodied creatures like worms and jellyfish lived in the world's oceans, but the land remained barren. Common Precambrian fossils include stromatolites and similar structures, which are traces of mats of algae-like microorganisms, and microfossils of other microorganisms. fossil stromatolites in a cliff face Proterozoic Eon—2.5 Billion to 541 MYA The Proterozoic Eon is the most recent division of the Precambrian. It is also the longest geologic eon, beginning 2.5 billion years ago and ending 541 million years ago fossil stromatolites in a cliff face Two for the Price of One Companion, assistant, confidant, ambassador, host, nurse, cook, secretary, editor, field technician, wildlife wrangler, diplomat, and social director are some of the many roles that people who marry into the NPS perform in support of their spouses and the NPS mission. Although the wives and daughters of park rangers were some of the earliest women rangers in the NPS, many more women served as “park wives” in the 1920s–1940s. Three members of a family The Heliograph: 2020 Edition The Heliograph is the official newsletter of the Sonoran Desert Network and Desert Research Learning Center. This issue features stories on how we adapted our operations to minimize field work lost to the covid-19 pandemic, vegetation mapping at Saguaro NP, and communication improvements and opportunities for network parks. We also probe the minds of our interns and celebrate a high honor for our program manager. heliograph The Heliograph: Summer 2021 The Heliograph is the official newsletter of the Sonoran Desert Network and Desert Research Learning Center. This issue shares predictive tools and planning processes that can help park managers make proactive decisions in the face of climate change. We also explore some explanations for this spring's highly unusual saguaro bloom, celebrate our staff members, and provide updates on our monitoring projects. heliograph

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