U.S. Forest Service

Ryan Heinsius / KNAU

Congressional Democrats are attempting to undo a controversial federal land swap in southeastern Arizona. A budget proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives aims to prevent the construction of the one of the largest copper mines in the nation at the Oak Flat area. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Melissa Sevigny / KNAU

The U.S. Forest Service has abruptly canceled its contract process for the second phase of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative. It throws the next steps of the large-scale thinning project into a state of uncertainty. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Center for Biological Diversity

The Center for Biological Diversity, along with the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have reached an agreement to protect waterways in parts of Arizona and New Mexico from grazing cattle. Today’s announcement comes 20 years after the agencies first promised to keep cows out of riparian habitats to protect endangered plants and animals. Rivers and streams in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico are home to many rare and threatened species, including Chiricahua leopard frogs, southwestern willow flycatchers and narrow-headed garter snakes.

U.S. Forest Service

The Biden Administration today announced plans to boost pay for nearly 15,000 federal firefighters employed by the U.S. Forest Service and Interior Department. The L.A. Times reports the pay increase will take effect next week and affect approximately 75% of the nation’s federal wildland firefighting personnel. In June, President Biden promised the increase to ensure that no federal firefighter makes less than $15 an hour. New hires typically earn less than $13 an hour. Year-round and seasonal firefighters, as well as retired staff who come back as volunteers, are eligible for the raise.

U.S. Forest Service

Across the country, iconic signs mark the trails, campgrounds and other features on nearly 200 million acres of land managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

The signs were the brainchild of long-time Forest Service employee, Virgil Carrell. ‘Bus’, as he was commonly known, wasn’t a professional designer, but he was a professional forest ranger. He started his career in the West, and worked nearly every job expected of a ranger in the 1940s and ‘50s.

Ryan Heinsius / KNAU

Arizona’s second-largest labor union is urging Congress to pass a bill that would block a massive copper mine in central Arizona. The controversial project is slated for Oak Flat, an area considered sacred by many tribal members in the Southwest. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Central Arizona Fire and Medical

A plane crash over the weekend claimed the lives to two crew members fighting a wildfire in northwestern Arizona. They were helping coordinate the aerial attack on the 730-acre Cedar Basin Fire. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Yavapai County Sheriff's Office

Officials say the Rafael Fire burning southwest of Flagstaff could have grown to as many as 35,000 acres Tuesday with no containment yet reported. Crews, however, weren’t able to generate an accurate infrared map because of cloud cover Tuesday night. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Ryan Heinsius / KNAU

The U.S. Forest Service has halted a controversial land exchange in Arizona that would pave the way for one of the largest copper mines in the country. Officials say they want to perform a thorough review of the project after receiving numerous public comments. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Ryan Heinsius / KNAU

The Tonto National Forest is moving ahead with a controversial federal land exchange. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it would pave the way for one of nation’s largest copper mines slated for an Apache sacred site.


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