RMRS Air, Water, & Aquatic Environments Science Program RMRS Air, Water, & Aquatic Environments Science Program

US Forest Service Research and Development

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About the Rocky Mountain Research Station

AWAE Program Headquarters
322 East Front St., Ste 401

Boise, ID 83702

(208) 373-4340


Rocky Mountain Research Station Headquarters

2150 Centre Ave., Bldg A
Fort Collins, CO 80526

(970) 295-5923

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

USDA Link Forest Service Link


Sierra Ancha Experimental Forest


The Sierra Ancha Experimental Forest, located on the Tonto National Forest about 48 km northeast of Globe, Arizona, was established in 1932 as a research area devoted to studying watershed management. This 5,364  ha experimental area is typical of watershed and vegetation conditions throughout the Southwest, particularly in Arizona.


The climate, soil, and physiography are typical of much of the southwestern region, and are particularly representative of the Verde, Salt, and Upper Gila watersheds. The Sierra Ancha lies along the crest of the Sierra Ancha Mountain range and includes areas between 1,082 to 2,354 m in elevation. Vegetation types within the forest range from semidesert shrub and grassland to the pine-fir forests at higher elevations.

Sierra Ancha, AZ
The International Co-operative Program on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP) was launched in 1985 under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) due to the growing public awareness of possible adverse effects of air pollution on forests. ICP Forests monitors the forest condition in Europe, in cooperation with the European Union using two different monitoring intensity levels. The first grid (called Level I) is based on around 6000 observation plots on a systematic transnational grid of 16 x 16 km throughout Europe. The intensive monitoring level comprises around 800 Level II plots in selected forest ecosystems in Europe. Currently 41 countries participate in the ICP Forests.


Pheonex Pollution

Phoenix, Arizona


In 2007 the US Forest Service has chosen to set up a synthesis network of 18 sites (see map below) throughout the US with an ICP Level II platform at each site. Each site will include a NADP weather station, UV Radiation Monitors and Ozone Sensors. The Sierra Ancha EF was chosen to be part of this network, because it is the most southern EF in the contiguous US and because it is downwind from one of the nation's largest metropolitan areas.


Network of FS R&D Expermental Forests and Ranges



For further information on the Sierra Ancha EF please choose from the links below:

  • Sierra Ancha Data (This link is currently under construction. Please check back often for updates, thank you!)
  • Current Data (more data coming soon!)

  • SNOTEL - Up to date precipitation and snow data for Workman Creek via the link below.
    SNOTEL uses meteor burst communications technology to collect and communicate data in near-real-time. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) installs, operates, and maintains an extensive, automated system to collect snowpack and related climatic data in the Western United States called SNOTEL (for SNOwpack TELemetry). The system evolved from NRCS's Congressional mandate in the mid-1930's "to measure snowpack in the mountains of the West and forecast the water supply." (NRCS, 2011)
  • Up to date flow data on Parker Creek, leaving the Sierra Ancha Experimental Forest, can be found here:
  • Legacy Data 1939-1980

  • Click here to search for images the Sierra Ancha

  • An annotated bibliography of publications on the Sierra Ancha and its experimental forest can be found here:
    Sierra Ancha EF Publications


  • A quick overview of the Sierra Ancha Experimental Forest can be found here:


  • The website Managing Arid and Semi-Arid Watersheds provides a plethora of information on experimental watersheds in Arizona, including historic flow data, GIS maps and general description. The watersheds in the Sierra Ancha are just one of many of these experimental watersheds in Arizona.

For further information on ICP Level II please choose from the links below:



Rocky Mountain Research Station - Air, Water and Aquatic Environments Sciences Program
Last Modified:  Wednesday, 26-Oct-2016 08:59:38 CDT

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