Our mission is to inspire appreciation and understanding of the beauty, biodiversity and legacy of Cave Creek Canyon through volunteer work and outreach programs.

February 21, 2022
Photo by Michael Jacobi
Potential Air Force Impact on Chiricahua Wilderness
and Local Communities
Hello Friends,

I’m sorry to report a new threat to the peace and quiet of the Chiricahua Mountain region, and to the health of our native wildlife and residents.
As you will see in the document below, the Air Force proposes to allow supersonic flights with sonic booms as low as 5,000 feet above ground, fighter jet maneuvers as low as 100 feet, and the dropping of flares and chaff over public and private lands.

The Chiricahuas are one of the most biodiverse land areas on the continent of North America, with several threatened species very sensitive to noise, in addition to being a haven for human beings.
It is critical that we all understand the impacts of the new proposal on our environment, our health and well-being, and our economy.

There is a public meeting on February 24th at the Animas High School in Animas, NM to learn more and ask questions.

There is also a public comment period which closes March 4. Please let your voice be heard! For complete information and how to comment on-line, visit

Reed Peters
Friends of Cave Creek Canyon

March 4, 2022 - Comment deadline for proposal to expand Military Training Flights over the Chiricahua-Peloncillo Mountain region

A newly proposed expansion of Military Operations Areas (MOAs) would significantly lower jet aircraft flight altitudes and dramatically increase noise levels in the “Tombstone MOA” over eastern Cochise County, the Chiricahua Mountains and New Mexico bootheel ( map available here).  
  • Fighter aircraft would be permitted to fly dozens of daily missions as low as 100 feet above ground level, barely above tree-top height.
  • The proposal would also authorize supersonic-speed flights generating sonic booms at 5,000 feet above ground level, many at night. Such extreme noise levels can affect human well-being, disrupt livestock, reduce tourism and damage homes.
  • For perspective, if viewed from the San Simon Valley floor (approx. 4,200-ft. elevation), proposed flight altitudes would be the equivalent of seeing/hearing supersonic aircraft barely clearing surrounding mountaintop elevations that rise 4-5,000 ft. above the valley floor.
  • The MOA would lower the release altitude of flares and chaff down to 2,000 feet above ground level across protected wilderness, iconic and biologically significant lands like Cave Creek Canyon, and private lands in the surrounding valleys. Flares can pose a significant wildfire danger. Chaff releases pollute the air and land.
  • A large part of the MOA also covers New Mexico’s bootheel region including air space over protected areas in the Peloncillo Mountains, including Baker Canyon National Wildlife Refuge, Baker Canyon Wilderness Study Area, Whitmore Canyon Wilderness Study Area, San Bernardino Wildlife Refuge, and the Animas Peaks.
  • Towns and private areas included within the Tombstone MOA include Portal, AZ; Rodeo, NM; Bisbee, AZ; Douglas, AZ; the Sulphur Springs Valley; and the San Simon and San Bernardino Valleys.


Peaceful Chiricahua Skies is a local coalition of organizations, businesses, and individuals in the Chiricahua-Peloncillo and surrounding areas that are opposing expanded military training flights in the Tombstone MOA area. Friends of Cave Creek Canyon is part of this coalition.

For more information, contact us at <> or 520-369-3503, @PeacefulChiricahuaSkies on Facebook and Instagram
Geology Rocks!
Article and photos by Jimi Walker

This is my favorite rock. It isn’t glamorous or worth any money. Its just a rock, probably made up of layers of chert and a silicate of some sort. What I adore about this rock is that it shows what happened to rocks here, when the folding and faulting began.

What you see are many layers of different types of rock, that were semi-cooled when they were subjected to major forces that caused them to fold over upon themselves. The folds that are visible attest to the strength of the forces that were applied to this rock.
One of the most important rocks of our planet and the most abundant bedrock on Earth, Mars and the Moon. On the moon, much of the surface is underlain by basaltic lava flows and on Mars, the shield volcano Olympus Mons was formed from basaltic lava flows. It is the highest mountain on Mars and is the largest known volcano in our solar system.  It’s size is estimated to be about the size of the state of Arizona.

The composition is similar to Gabbro, however, while Gabbro is a course grained rock, basalt is fine grained. In the Chiricahua mountains, basalt formed from oceanic hot spots. As lava built up, mountains were formed and rose above the surface to form volcanic arcs. It is these volcanic island arcs that would eventually join the main continent and become what we know today as Arizona.
This photo shows Basalt that erupted out of a volcano underwater. It cooled very quickly
and over the millions of years, 
cracks formed and widened which allowed other minerals to intrude. This basalt has many veins of Quartzite running through it and can be seen by following the wash a short distance north of the old corrals on FR42. And while you’re sitting on that outcropping, please keep in mind that this formed a few thousand feet under the ocean, at least 26.9 million years ago, yet here it is almost 6000 ft. above sea level. 
Photo Gallery
Above and below: 2 different pictures of the Chiricahua Mountains by Alice Wakefield taken this February.
Yellow-eyed Junco by Bob Rodrigues

Gray Fox by Bob Rodrigues
Photo by Steve Wolfe
Linda Castor
Paula Baldwin
Jacqueline Foutz
Caryn George
Mike Leuthold
Patricia Parran
Steve & Laura Paulson
Reed Peters
Thomas Roseman 
Rick & Joan Schneider
Delia Scholes
Lee Simpson and
Howard Szczech
Denise Ward
Mike & Cecil Williams
David Zittin
Friends of Cave Creek Canyon Board Members
Bob Ashley
Sheri Ashley
Geoff Bender
Rick Beno
Rene Donaldson
Rolf Koford
Pat Parran
Reed Peters
Kim Vacariu
Jeff Wakefield
Alice Wakefield
Cecil Williams
Mike Williams
Help us thank our Business Members who have given generously to Friends of Cave Creek Canyon. Without their assistance, we would be hard pressed to accomplish our goals. Click on the underlined names to check out their websites.    
A.S.K. Pest Control 
Ed Newbold Wildlife Artist
Painted Pony
Sky Islands Grill & Grocery  
Cable Publishing
Daussin & Associates   
Migration Taco
OL' Morani Ranch 
Sky Island Rolfing  
Terry Miller
Umphres Propane
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