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Tonto Forest to thin acreage and use prescribed burn near Young

Tonto National Forest will reduce fuel loads in the Pleasant Valley area this fall with a project is expected to have a number of benefits.

The project will target part of a ranching allotment near the community of Young. The goal is to create a fuel break with mechanical thinning, followed by prescribed fire. The work is expected to improve the watershed and wildlife habitat, as well as reduce fire risk in the area. 

“So Arizona Game and Fish was one of the partners on the project," said William Dudley of Tonto National Forest. "They helped us with doing the heritage survey, which they do a hundred percent survey to see if there’s any cultural sites out there that we need to avoid, and then they helped fund the project to improve wildlife habitat.”

The National Forest Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation are also helping with the project.

Ron Dungan was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2024.