Four Forest Restoration Initiative

Deborah Lee Soltesz/Coconino National Forest/USFS

Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake have called on the U.S. Forest Service to increase the scale and speed of large forest-thinning projects in the state. They say more work is needed to protect the forests from catastrophic wildfire. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Ryan Heinsius

Officials with the U.S. Forest Service and the City of Flagstaff have signed off on the final draft of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. It’s designed to thin National Forest land surrounding the city and safeguard it from the effects of catastrophic wildfire. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Payson Roundup

Multiple, low-intensity lightning-caused wildfires are currently burning on the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests. In each case, managers are allowing them to continue to burn in order to rid the areas of dry fuels and enhance plant and animal habitat. All three fires are expected to increase in size, but not necessarily in severity. 


Supervisors with the Coconino and Kaibab national forests have given final approval of the Four Forests Restoration Initiative, or 4FRI. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, officials say the program will restore forest health and decrease wildfire danger.

Major thinning is ramping up on northern Arizona’s national forests. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the work represents the early stages of the biggest-ever U.S. forest restoration project.

4FRI Part 2: The Birth of a Collaboration

Nov 14, 2012
Michael Collier

The ponderosa pine forest, across northern and central Arizona, looks green and healthy, but scientists say just the opposite is true. And they’ve joined with local government officials, environmentalists and industry to restore the forest’s health.

Michael Collier


The world’s largest ponderosa pine forest stretches across higher elevations from the San Francisco Peaks to the Arizona/New Mexico border. But in the last century, human intervention has threatened its health.