To  Cave Creek 
               Canyon  Friends


2019 Annual Party
& Celebration


[Photos by Peg Abbot]

100 people had a fun time at the FOCCC Annual Party and Celebration on Friday, December 6th.  The highlights were:
  • Very good chili, perfect for a cool evening - thanks to Bob and Sheri Ashley.
  • A slide show of the year's activities, done by Debb Johnson.
  • Discussion of a very successful Heritage Days Event and other activities.  
  • Report on the Educational Outreach successes.
  • Election of FOCCC Board members Alan Craig, Cecil Williams, Rene Donaldson, Pat Parran and Mike Williams for a two year term.  The following have 1 more year to serve of their 2 year term:  Sheri Ashley, Bob Ashley, Kim Vacariu, Rick Beno, Stevie Wayman, and Reed Peters.
  • 2 Spirited live auctions for paintings by Crystal Foreman Brown and Sandy Urban raised $2000!
  • The silent auctions also raised about another $2000!
  •  Announcement of South Fork Project (see below for details)

Remember the Old South Fork Picnic Area 
and Trailhead Before Hurricane Odile?

For decades visitors and members of the local community enjoyed the trail head area at the end of South Fork of Cave Creek Canyon.  Whether looking for birds, hiking or admiring the scenery, it was always a place of peace and incredible beauty.  Sitting at a picnic table and listening to the echos of the Canyon Wren or watching the Elegant Trogon fly over your head were moving experiences.

In Sept., 2014 hurricane Odile arrived and SE Arizona had heavy rains which caused flooding of the Canyon Rd and elimination of the South Fork Trailhead.  Below is the former trailhead area with Cave Creek now flowing right through.  The US Forest Service declared this a 500 year flood.

   Downstream from trailhead                              Cave Creek Road

Exciting News
FOCCC Announces The South Fork Project

For many months the FOCCC Board has been working with the Forest Service on a plan to provide a new and greatly improved trailhead area where the berm is now, at the end of South Fork Rd.  This area will have:
  • Picnic tables and benches
  • Educational kiosk
  • Educational trail with handicapped access.  4-5' wide and hardened for wheelchair or walkers, only such trail on east side of the Chiricahuas.
  • Other trails to the creek
  • Amphitheater with benches for interpretive presentations
  • Message board and trail maps
  • Connect the South Fork Project Area to the new trail, which goes to the old Trailhead and the Chiricahua Wilderness.  The new trail was designed and constructed by the Forest Service, Wild Arizona, and community volunteers last July.
  • FOCCC will continue to supply toilet facilities
  • This is just a concept plan and must go through the approval process and there will be additions and changes.  

Additional  Project Components

There will be 5-8 benches along South Fork Road between the turnoff from FR 42 and the bridge crossing South Fork.  Walkers will be able to relax and observe the wildlife.

Under development are plans to put in a vault toilet, parking, picnic tables and a trail to or along the creek.

This project must go through the approval process with the Forest Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service.  We hope to begin the project in the Fall of 2020.  There will be no major work done during the nesting season.      

The Forest Service has been extremely supportive of this large project and has been fully involved in its development.  The estimated cost is upwards of $150,000.  The Forest Service will be providing staff time, supervision of the project and other components.

Friends of Cave Creek  Canyon is responsible for raising all the $150,000.   

We are very excited to announce that we have received a $20,000 grant from The Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona.   FOCCC will acknowledge the Legacy Foundation with the following statement on the Kiosk in South Fork:

"This Project is funded as a result of generous financial support from the Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona, which is an Arizona charitable organization whose philanthropic mission is to promote population health and community wellness throughout Southeast Arizona."

Donations and pledges now total about $60,000.  We have raised 
almost one-half of the needed funding.    

Will you make a donation or a pledge
 to support this project?

$25-$499      _________                     $500-$999______________
$1000-$2499_________ [& RECEIVE A FOCCC HAT]
$2500-$5000_________ [& RECEIVE A FOCCC HAT & T-SHIRT]
$5000-$9999_________ [& RECEIVE A FOCCC HAT & LONG-SLEEVE SHIRT]
$10000 & UP ________ [& RECEIVE A FOCCC HAT & VEST]



                                                                                                        [Photo by Helen Snyder]

                                                                                 [Photo by Steve Wolfe]

Our Stately, Immortal Arizona Sycamore
How many trees do you see?

[by Helen Snyder]

The white-barked clump of sycamore trunks in front of the Myrtle Kraft Library are all part of one individual tree. This wonderful species shades our two most important outdoor public spaces in Portal, the library-post office area and the Portal Store and Café.

Most amazing is the way that healthy, venerable old trees propagate themselves vegetatively with tiny shoots that pop up on or next to venerable old trunks which, if protected, will become replacement trunks in a century hence. They may look like bothersome suckers now, but we should resist the urge to prune them! The little fences around these sprouts at the library tree are to remind us to protect these future giant sycamores for the next generation of Portal residents.

Our downtown sycamores each grew and spread overhead from one tiny frail seedling that sprouted decades or centuries ago. The button-like fruits falling now contain seeds that float off and happily germinate in quiet, muddy waters like a flooded side channel of a stream in monsoon season. Kept wet and given protection from grazing and fire, they eventually put roots down into permanent water, start sheltering wildlife and giving shade to people gathered below.

                                                                                    [Photo by Fred Espenak]

Sycamores go on the offensive against injury and disease, growing sound bark around fungus-damaged interiors that become soft and inviting for woodpeckers, and even magically producing 'wound bark' to flow around fresh scars left by the loss of a branch torn off in a storm. Dead limbs stay firmly attached, becoming granaries and nest cavity material for acorn woodpeckers.

Sycamores are vulnerable to ground fires, but instead of dying when their bases burn the way cottonwoods do, they produce stump sprouts to become new trunks when the old fire-killed ones finally topple. Whole trunks that eventually die and fall will be replaced by these adolescent stems that eventually form a circle of stems like the one by the clinic and the post office.

Film maker Woody Allen once said "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work.  I want to achieve it through not dying." He should have been a sycamore: one living tree in Portal had its tree rings counted that showed it was at least 500 years old.

What's New At The VIC?

FOCCC continues to bring in new displays and items for you to enjoy!

First ranchers in New Mexico and then guest lodge operators and home owners in Portal, Fin and Sally Richards amassed a significant projectile point collection during their lifetimes of horseback riding through the Chiricahua and Peloncillo ranges and the San Simon Valley. This new exhibit shares the story of how the University of Arizona came to curate their collection of 327 projectile points which encompasses the Early Archaic through the Early Historic Periods or from 6000 BC to 1800 AD.  [By Rene Donaldson]

Fun New Gifts!
                            Magnets                                                       Mugs

Wynn Falls
Historically Known as Sally Falls

[Photos by Debra Davison, VIC host]

IRA Charitable Gifts To Benefit The Canyon 
Individuals age 70.5 and older can donate their IRA mandatory annual distribution or even more each year from their IRAs to Friends of Cave Creek Canyon without counting the distribution as income.
The ability to make this gift directly from IRA accounts is now a permanent part of the U.S. tax code. The gift amount counts toward your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD), and your taxable income is lowered by the amount of your qualified charitable distribution (QCD). Gifts must be completed before December 31 to be eligible in the current tax year.
Important points to consider:
  • You must be at least age 70½. 
  • The gift should come directly from your IRA account, in the form of a check
  • The gift may come from a Traditional or a Roth IRA (special exclusions may apply to other types of IRA accounts). 
  • Although there is no tax deduction, there is NO income tax on the withdrawal.
What are the advantages?
  • Benefit FOCCC's work in a meaningful way today.
  • Meet your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).
  • Pay no income tax on the amount withdrawn for your gift.
  • Give above your deductible charitable limit of 60% of adjusted gross income.
How do I give?  Please have your IRA plan administrator send a check to:
ATTN: Office of Gift Planning
FOCCC    PO Box 16126     Portal, AZ 85632
Accompanying paperwork should identify (1) your name and address, and (2) whether your gift is intended for a specific program or for Friends of Cave Creek Canyon's general programs. 
FOCCC's Tax ID # is 27-3531633
FOCCC and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

FOCCC 2019 Officers and Board

Reed Peters         President                                     Other Board Members  
Sheri Ashley        Vice President                      Bob Ashley         Wynne Brown  
Mike Williams      Vice President 
                   Alan Craig        Rene Donaldson
Rick Beno 
Rolf Koford        Kim Vacariu
Stevie Wayman    Secretary
Cecil Williams     
FOCCC Board of Directors meets on the first Wednesday morning each month  at the Chiricahua Desert Museum on Highway 80.  If you have interest in attending or putting something on the agenda, please contact President Reed Peters at 520-558-2334.  All members are welcome to attend.




Friends Of Cave Creek Canyon
PO Box 16126
Portal, Arizona 85632


Visit Our Website 


Thanks to our "Sustainer's Circle" and Lifetime Members 
for their generous support:  
Tom Arny, Bob and Bettina Arrigoni, Susan Dalby & Eskild Peterson, Nancy and Thomas Denney, Stephen Durkovich, L. Syrene Forsman, Mary George, Bill and Sally Hague, Paul Hirt and Linda Jakse, Fritz and Gayle Jandry, Don Hollister, Ken Jenkins, Leuthold Family Foundation,  Barbara Lounsbery,  Patrick McNamara, John and Karin McQuillan, Barbara and Pete Miller, Patricia Parran, Cecilia Raak, Tom Roseman and Paula Baldwin, Delia Scholes and Ed Newbold, Jeff and Alice Wakefield, and Bob and Sherry Zoellick.

Please support 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 their names to check out their websites.    
                 Cave Creek Ranch                           Chiricahua Desert Museum
             Naturalist Journeys, LLC                                   Orchid Davis   
                 Sky Island Rolfing                                           Wynne Brown 
                   Chiricahua Gallery                                      Daussin & Associates
                   Casa Petra Vera                                      Ed Newbold Wildlife Artist    
                     Quailway Cottage                                    Sky Island Lodge
            Sky Island Grill & Grocery                        The George Walker House      
Portal Peak Store and Lodge                            Umphres Propane
                     Gardenwerks                                            Ol' Morani Ranch
                  A.S.K. Pest Control
Business Memberships start at just $50.00!