GRAND CANYON OF ARIZONA A MONUMENT
It's Preservation and Protection Assured By The Action Of The President Under a Special Act.
President Roosevelt has just signed a proclamation making a National Monument of the Grand Canyon of Arizona, and another making an addition of 1,288,320 acres of land to the Tonto Forest which is also located in Arizona.
The world-famed Grand Canyon has been a part of the Grand Canyon National Forest, and its establishment as a National Monument is made by virtue of the Act of June 8, 1906, which provides that objects of scientific interest may be declared National Monuments if such action is deemed necessary for their preservation and protection.
The President, speaking of the importance of protecting the Grand Canyon as a National Monument, says in his proclamation: "It is an object of unusual scientific interest, being the greatest eroded canyon within the United States, and it appears that the public interests would be promoted by reserving it as a National Monument, with such other land as is necessary for its proper protection."
It has long been realized that it was highly desirable to have this wonderful gorge made by the Colorado river, set apart as a National Monument. This assures the area of exclusion from all kinds of entry, and the Government will have power to prevent the marring of the scenic beauty by unsightly exploitation of any kind. The area put in the National Monument constitutes approximately 825,280 acres. In determining the boundary of the National Monument an effort was made to draw the line approximately one mile back from the rim of the canyon.
The addition of 1,288,320 acres to the Tonto National Forest in Arizona is situated in Maricopa, Gila and Pinal counties. That part of the addition which is situated on the west side of the Tonto Forest is given National Forest protection because it includes the watershed of the Verde rover, above the proposed McDowell reservoir site, which is located on the Verde just above its junction with Salt river.
It seems probable that this McDowell reservoir will be built by the Reclamation service, at some future time, and when this project is completed, something over 100,000 acres of land will be irrigated in the Salt River Valley, in addition to the land that will be assured of a uniform supply of water by the great Salt river project at Roosevelt.
The eastern portion of the addition includes the headwaters of the Pinal and Pinto creeks. Both of these streams empty into Salt River above the Roosevelt Dam. Their watersheds have been damaged by overgrazing, mainly by goats. It is of the utmost importance that the watersheds of these streams be protected.
They are already carrying large quantities of silt into Salt river, and since they both empty near what will be the upper end of the reservoir, they could do enormous damage in filling it with silt. The most southern portion of the addition, lying directly west of the Pinal Mountains Forest which has not by this proclamation been made a part of the Tonto National Forest, protects the watershed of Queen Creek the waters of which the Reclamation Service has determined it will one day be desirable to impound.
The Pinal National Forest of 45,760 acres has been thrown into the Tonto Forest, giving an area including the new addition, of 2,449,280 acres. In the large addition there is very little commercial forest, but in most of the canyons and draws there are stands of oak and chapparal species, and in limited areas dense stands of Arizona cypress. This limited supply of wood is of great importance, both from the point of water conservation and of prolonging the fuel supply in a country in which the supply is very short.