To Friends Of
Cave Creek Canyon

We Welcome March with Spring in the Air

                              Sunrise                 [Steve Wolfe]

Portal-Rodeo Hiking Club

Barbara Ellis-Quinn                
On a sunny but breezy morning, fifteen hikers met in Rodeo and drove south to the Paramore Crater, a volcanic maar that was formed in the San Bernardino volcanic field when water came in contact with hot magma. As we hiked up what seems at first to just be a gradual slope, it didn't seem at all as if we were so close to a mile diameter crater until we were standing on the rim, looking down into it. A few wildflowers spotted the landscape, mostly verbena at first.   Jonathan Patt

APRIL 22, 2017  10 AM

Grants, donations and The Larry Rivers family have provided us the support to revive this vital water source for birds and other wildlife.  Over 200 species of birds have been seen here.

                        Come see this great community asset.

There will be refreshments 
and short tours of the facility
More details will follow.   

                                                                                                     [John Johnson]

In March, 2016 we received a $15,000 grant from First Solar   to  reju venate Willow Tank, to return it back into the great birding place of the past.  First Solar also donated AND delivered all the solar panels.  These panels are the new cutting edge technology panels that are more efficient than standard panels.  Thank you, First Solar for your generosity and support.
Reed Peters, President of Friends of Cave Creek Canyon: " This generous donation from First Solar will help ensure that the water levels in Willow Tank can support the 200 species of birds that stop here during migration.   We are pleased that Willow Tank will remain one of the premier bird-watching destinations in North America, and look forward to the continued education and research opportunities it provides."

Recently Seen at Willow Tank by Steve Wolfe
                               Verdin                                                   Loggerhead Shrike

Curve-billed Thrasher

Visitor Information Center Project

The back wall of the VIC had substantial dry rot damage, termite holes, squirrel nests, mice/rat nests, and other such treasures.

Our knowledgeable host John Johnson led a worthy crew of Rolf Koford and Tony Donaldson in tearing off all the old siding and other bad parts, and replaced the plywood and trim.  Tony did work a lot, even if not in the pictures - he was the photographer!  Insecticide was also applied.   They've done a great job so far, but there is still more to go!

As many of you know, FOCCC is managing the VIC under the guidance of the Forest Service.  We have made many changes inside and out.  Plans are for further improvements to make the facility and grounds more educational and fun.  The VIC is used by many people both local and visitors.  For example:

Feb. 2017 Visitors 707  up 80% from 392 in Jan. 2017.     
Feb 2017 volunteer hours = 349 up from 322 in January. 
                                                                           [circa 1940]

  Anyone interested in helping with trail work, gardening leading bird or nature walks contact Mike Williams at 

Now it's all ready for the clapboard and painting.  Thanks, guys!

Recent Interesting and Fun Images of the Area

                    [Statia Dougherty]                               

Gray Fox

[Steve Wolfe above and below]

Micro-burst of wind and dust storm

                                                                                                                                                         [Tim Lawson]
        [Statia Dougherty]

Image taken by Astronomer Rick Beno of Portal's Sky Village

Emission Nebula in Perseus

     Every star you see is another sun.  Maybe there is another "Earth" surrounding one of those suns.  Maybe......?   

Stories of the Past
 The Start of the Arizona Rangers

The Chiricahua Bullsheet, an entertaining and highly opinionated newsletter and journal of local history written by Carson Morrow
Courtesy of Dick Zweifel
 [The year 1902 was about the time stock rustling as a big business came to an end]

"There were some honest men in the Arizona Ranger service, but they were by far in the minority. It was utterly impossible for the captains to keep a very close watch on their underlings who were scattered throughout the state, so the young thugs on horseback never had it so good. Beside having the authority to chase their erstwhile pals out of business and draw a salary from the state while doing it, they had ample opportunity to carry on their old trade and enjoy almost complete immunity from the law at the same time. Should they have been caught handling stolen stock, all they had to do to clear their skirts was to claim that they had recovered them from some other thief who had escaped arrest. 

One of the last horse-stealing escapades known to have terminated in Rustler Park occurred in about 1913. Bill and Frank Price and Rusty Tulk, all of the West Turkey Creek area, had drifted over near Steins Pass and gone to work for the Seven Twelve Cattle Co. 01 Mart Taylor was the Wagon Boss of that outfit. Some people still think that he was the real Billy The Kid and that the man killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett at Fort Sumner, New Mexico was just a phony. We will refer you to Buford Martin on that question as he knows more about it than we do, and get back to our horse stealing. 

One morning Rusty rode away from the Seven Twelve Ranch, presumably to range brand some calves, riding the top horse of the outfit. When he didn't show up by the next morning, Mart Taylor took his two other hands, Bill and Frank, with him and set out on Rusty's trail. They discovered or remembered that Rusty had taken a pistol and a 30-30 rifle with him so they armed themselves accordingly. 

The trail wasn't hard to follow as they knew the horse's tracks about as well as they knew the horse, and the tracks pointed straight for the high part of the Chiricahuas. They followed the trail right to Rustlers Park, but stopped just before they rode out of the timber into the clearing as they could see the horse they were looking for from there grazing out in the middle of the Park, but Rusty and his saddle were not visible. After a short consultation, they decided to go to Paradise and enlist the services of Constable Mart Moore. They knew Rusty well enough that they didn't think he took the guns along to shoot chipmunks. 

After they told the whole story to the Constable, he decided that he had a lot of unfinished business about everywhere except in Rustlers Park, and that it would be several days before he could possibly find time to go after the horse. They didn't want to go back to the ranch without the horse, but they didn't feel quite up to going after him either as it looked like a sure thing that Rusty was camped out in the timber watching the horse in hope that they would come after him in person. So they took their troubles to Carson Morrow who was a bigger chump at age seventeen than he is now if that is possible, and paid him ten dollars to go and get the horse. Either Rusty didn't care to waste a cartridge on that big a damned fool, or his bravery might have faded out and he had simply caught another horse and gone on to Turkey Creek. "Pues, Quen Saves?"    ["Well, who knows"] "

FOCCC 2017 Officers and Board

Reed Peters              President
    Sheri Ashley        Vice President  
Mike Williams            Vice President    
Rick Beno            Treasurer
Stevie Wayman        Secretary
     Other Board Members     
Bob Ashley        Wynne Brown  
  Alan Craig          Rene Donaldson
Rolf Koford            Kim Vicariu       
  Cecil Williams             




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


Visit Our Website 

Thanks to our "Sustainer's Circle" members 
for their generous support:  
Tom Arny, Bob and Bettina Arrigoni, Nancy and Thomas Denney, Bud and Kate Fackelman, Mary George, Renata Golden, Bill and Sally Hague, Paul Hirt and Linda Jakse, Ken Jenkins, Leuthold Family Foundation,  Barbara Lounsbery,  Patrick McNamara, John and Karin McQuillan, Barbara and Pete Miller, Patricia Parran, CeCe Raak, Tom Roseman and Paula Baldwin, Delia Scholes, Donald and Martha Squire 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.    
                     Birders B & B
                 Cave Creek Ranch                           Chiricahua Desert Museum
             Naturalist Journeys, LLC                                   Orchid Davis   
                 Sky Island Rolfing                                           Wynne Brown 
                  Chiricahua Gallery               Everett Jones Realestate (Helen Snyder)
            Pi Irwin & Zsombor Zoltan                            Ed Newbold Wildlife Artist
                     Quailway Cottage                                    
                   Rodeo Tavern                                     The George Walker House                                 Painted Pony Resort                             Portal Peak Store and Lodge
Business Memberships start at just $50.00!