Subject: Road Maintenance along FR 132 & Log Hauling

Working under contract for the Prescott National Forest, a contractor will be conducting road maintenance on Forest Road 132, beginning on August 26, 2014, between Log Springs and Brindle Pup.  The road work will consist of some smoothing and curve widening, to facilitate the hauling of log trucks from the Mingus Springs area to Highway 169.  Log hauling is expected to begin the first week of September, although hauling is prohibited on weekends and holidays through the end of September.  Numerous signs will be posted prior to hauling to alert motorists; please exercise caution if you plan to travel on the 132 road.  Roughly a half dozen trees will be removed in the Log Springs area in order to straighten out a few curves; also, the contractor will be improving a staging area between Cherry and the Federal Mine, just south of FR 9710K, about one half acre in size, to store log trailers. If you would like any more information, feel free to contact Kurt Wetzstein at (928) 443-8042, or via e-mail at


Kurt Wetzstein


Prescott NF



One generation plants the trees, the next gets the shade

–           Chinese Proverb

Early 2014: Vegetation & Fuel Treatments Near the Community of Cherry

Vegetation & Fuel Treatments Planned for Early 2014

Near the Community of Cherry

 – The Prescott National Forest is planning the following two vegetation and fuel treatments near the community of Cherry :


  • Forest Health Managers will be conducting a hand thinning treatment on approximately 170 acres adjacent to the community of Cherry and Powell Springs Campground. Current tree densities in the forest have resulted in increased competition for essential and limited resources, such as water, soil nutrients, and sunlight. The stress from crowding reduces the trees’ ability to withstand insects, disease, and drought. Over the past several years, Ips and Western Pine Beetle attacks have killed pine trees in and around the Powell Springs Campground. When a tree is healthy, it is naturally able to defend itself against bark beetles. A tree will use resin to ‘pitch out’ the beetles that are attempting to bore into the tree. To increase tree health and vigor, tree densities must be reduced to levels that are consistent with the carrying capacity of the site. If a large number of trees die, there will be an increased risk of a catastrophic wildfire, increased risk to nearby homes, as well as a loss of other forest values.


  • Fire and Fuels Managers will be implementing a fuels reduction project in the Sunnybrook Mine area, west of Cherry and south of the Cherry Road.  This project will consist of approximately 165 acres of brush crushing (chipping/mulching), which will reduce fuel amounts and decrease the risk of a major wildfire.  After the brush crush is complete, fire managers plan to implement a prescribed fire across the crush area when fuels and weather conditions allow.


For more information please contact the Bradshaw Ranger District at (928) 443-8000 or the Verde Ranger District at (928) 567-4121.

October 30th: Controlled Burn, Logan Mine Area

We will be initiating a prescribed burn starting (10/30/13) just south of East Cherry. We will have several Forest Service engines and a few other support vehicles along County Road 75 as a part of our protection plan for your community. Please know that we do not intend to bring fire out to County Road 75, our engines will be parked out there as contingency resources in the event of an escaped fire. Our burn crews will be south of the main ridgeline that is south of Cherry Creek and the homes in that location. We are planning to burn about 220 acres of masticated or crushed brush from the 2010 brush crush project. This is the last area of crush associated with that previous project. We have planned 2 days to accomplish this burn. If progress is good we may finish in one day or if more time is needed we will commit to that as well.

In other news, we are still planning to continue with forest health and protection projects over on the west side of town. Expect to see contractors thinning trees as well as masticating brush. You can expect to see activity within a few weeks if not sooner.


Upcoming Prescribed Burn in the Logan Mine Area- Southeast of Cherry

Hi to all,

We have concluded our preparation for an upcoming prescribed burn in the Logan Mine area. Specifically this burn is south of East Cherry and north of Onion Mountain, Township 14 North, Range 3 East, Sections 22 and 27.  This is the last parcel of brush crush from the 2010 contract. There is approximately 220 acres in the burn unit. We are looking closely now at weather forecasts and could burn as soon as next week. Please share this info with the community and please let me know if there are any concerns or questions. We look forward to completion of this burn and the added protection it will provide for Cherry. Thanks, Scott

Scott Spleiss

Fuels, Prevention & Detection Battalion Chief

Verde Valley Center

Verde Ranger District, Prescott N.F.

Red Rock Ranger District, Coconino N.F.

Office: 928-567-1156

Cell: 928-301-3321

Eradicating the Invasive “Trees of Heaven”

Dear Residents of Cherry:

We received a letter from “Friends of Verde River Greenway” who have contacted us in order to help in eradicating the invasive “Trees of Heaven” in the Cherry community area.   They have announced they will help private property owners in their efforts to remove the following trees and plants:  “Tree of Heaven,” Arundo, Salt Cedar, and Russian Olive.

They have worked with the Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition to improve the habitat in that area, but are now wanting to expand to other areas,  including Cherry. If you are not familiar with the “Tree of Heaven,” the house next to our property on the west side of us that is overgrown with those trees will give you an idea of how that tree takes over in an area if left unattended.  (Our property is just across the street from the local fire department.)

I spoke with Laura Jones, who is the Community Outreach Coordinator, and she would be available to speak with any of you if you have any of these plants on your property and you would like to be rid of them.  Her contact information is:

Laura Jones   Community Outreach Coordinator    928-451-6860




This is a wonderful opportunity for our community to deal with this invasive tree issue so we need to take advantage of it.


Betty Miller


Aug 29th 2013 Cut Fire Wood Available with PNF Permit

Aug 29th 2013 Cut Fire Wood Available with Permit-  We have just been informed by Prescott National Forest Service (PNF) they are currently cutting and thinning oak  / juniper North of Cherry Creek Road and East of the Federal Mine Road .

At the 2013 Cherry Volunteer Fire Department Meeting, we were informed by representatives of PNF when this would take place. We have been notified ahead of the general public as to give us the 1’st opportunity.  This downed fire wood is now available but only with the proper Fire Wood Permits issued by PNF.

Firewood Permits

Wood permits are available at any of the three Ranger District Offices. Permits are valid through December 31 of the year they were purchased in. The permit costs $20 for four cords of dead and down wood. You can purchase up to 10 cords at $5 a cord, but the minimum purchase is four cords. When you come in we need the following personal information to fillout the permit: Name, Address, Phone Number, Driver’s License Number, and the make, model and license plate number of the vehicle that will be used to haul the wood. A map will accompany the permit to show what areas of the forest are open for gathering fire wood.

Cherry Thinning project & site visit

Subject: Cherry Thinning project & site visit

Hello Bud, you may recall that we met at the most recent Cherry community meeting last April. At that meeting, I mentioned the fact that the Prescott NF had some additional thinning projects planned between Cherry and Powell Springs Campground. It looks as though we will begin some thinning work in September, and possibly earlier. I would like to extend an invitation to any members of the community who are interested to discuss the projects out on the ground, so that residents may gain a better understanding of our goals and objectives.

Would it be possible for you to outreach with the community to see if anyone is interested, and try to get an idea about some possible dates? Seems like a Saturday or Sunday may be best, perhaps in late August or early September? Please let me know your thoughts, and I appreciate any insight you could provide.

Best regards, Kurt.

Kurt Wetzstein

Forester Prescott NF


Hot Shot Crews Clearing Brush West of Cherry

June 3rd 2013

Just a heads up. These opportunities come at us pretty fast so I don’t get much lead time and that means you don’t either, Sorry! We will be hosting the Sawtooth Hotshot Crew here as part of the Large Fire Support Pre-positioning. This happens most every year in the Southwest as we get hotter and drier. My intent is to get them up on the west end of Cherry tomorrow and start brushing out the fence line that goes south from the cattle guard. This is some of the work we discussed at the Spring Meeting. How long they will be here or how much work we will get done is anybody’s guess. If you have any questions please let me know. Thanks, ~~S~~

Scott Spleiss

Fuels, Prevention & Detection Battalion Chief

Verde Valley Center

Verde Ranger District, Prescott N.F.

Red Rock Ranger District, Coconino N.F.

Office: 928-567-1156

Recent Brushfire

Link to: Yavapai County Emergency Alert Website

To the residents of Cherry, AZ –

CVFA responded to a small brush fire recently. Thanks to the quick action of volunteers Joe Boyle, John Wilson and Carl Collmar it was held to under two acres. The cause was sparks from a burn barrel on a windy day. From this experience we learned that the large wild land truck has an air leak that keeps its pump from fully priming. We can and will fix that. We should have also learned that you don’t use a burn barrel on a windy day. We can’t fix that – it’s a personal choice. I implore those of you who feel the need to burn papers or debris to wait for a calm day – preferably just after a good rain. Thanks.
Bud Gindhart




Cherry Volunteer Fire Association Annual General Membership Meeting April 20, 2013

Cherry Barn

Cherry Volunteer Fire Association
Annual General Membership Meeting
April 20, 2013

Bud Gindhart, President Joe Boyle, Vice President
Bob Kennedy, Treasurer Jim Bond, Legal Advisor
Karen Bruno, Secretary Nancy Clauss, Board Member
Boyce Macdonald, Board Member Frank Melluzzo, Board Member
Faren Wattie, Board Member

Celeste Gordon, Verde District Ranger, Verde Valley Center, Prescott National Forest
Brian Steinhardt – Fire Management – Zone District Manager
(928) 567-1150 direct line for fire operations – Prescott National Forestry Service
Kurt Wetstein, Team Leader
Scott Spleiss, Fire and Fuel Specialist
Thomas Thurman, Supervisor – District Two – County Board of Supervisors, Prescott

President Gindhart called the general meeting of the CVFA to order at 12:18 pm to order. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. The above listed quorum was called and confirmed. President Gindhart then requested that all new attendees stand and introduce themselves, including location of residence.

Bill Reiber introduced himself as living by Black Hawk 3 by Nancy Cooper. Ed and Summer Osinski stated they have purchased a place by the Suttons.

President Gindhart announced the launching of our new website.

Treasurer Kennedy discussed the treasurer report which included:

Auto insurance on the fire trucks and workman’s comp are our highest expenses. Last year, these two items combined was $ 838 and this year these two items total over $1000. Our second highest expense is APS. We will continue to look into ways to cut the electric bill for the firehouse.

Faren Wattie presented information from Fire School. He supplied hand-outs and reviewed tips for homeowners from Faren suggested we add this website to the cherry website. Grants were discussed for homeowners that can’t afford help to clean up their properties.

President Gindhart presented Treasurer Kennedy with a 10 year service award.

Supervisor Thurman discussed the following topics: fire wise communities and grants that are available for latter fuel reduction, EMT certification, and road paving. Of the remaining unpaved section of Cherry Creek Road, the county will pave half of it this year later in the summer and the other half next year. The asphalt will then be chip sealed.

Celeste Gordon reviewed analysis on Black Hills regarding treatments, which includes the 09/2011 decision which was signed and is now being implemented with treatments; grazing permits and environmental analysis on grazing permits, management direction, and plans to integrate projects to help watershed areas were discussed. Ms. Gordon also discussed the Cherry Creek watershed; 132 Road, fencing on Log Springs, upper ash will be one of the next watershed areas; and black canyon water shed; we have access issues on some roads.

Kurt Wetstein discussed the 10 year goals: 1)promote or maintain a healthy forest 2) vegetation condition 3) fuel reduction 4) maintain healthy forest which includes thinning out the trees, which will also provide a condition under which the June fire won’t rip through the forest. Regardless of vegetation type, they are maintaining ecosystems to reduce fire. Place emphasis in and around private property. Prioritize adjacent areas to private property.

Large maps were hung and discussion included thinning and prescribed burning in the Black Hills area. Mr. Wetstein reviewed the maps and discussed protection south and west as this is the direction fire travels in.

Also discussed was the oak fuel wood project west of the community; objective was reducing density for healthier trees, and provided fuels reduction so fire will burn at a ower intensity.

The Forestry Service is planning smaller similar projects with its own crews. They are planning on thinning the oaks and leaving them on the ground. Also discussed was the community gathering wood with permits for burning.

Mr. Wetstein stated 1/3 of permit money stays in the community. The program includes the following: West of Cherry and at Powell springs and Log Springs they will be implementing cutting down smaller trees and leaving the best ones and then doing a prescribed burn in the near future. 150 acres this fall and 150 by Log Springs a year from now. The Forestry Service is looking at 100-200 acres of commercial timber sale of ponderosa pines. They will measure the volume, mark trees to take, and they will control the contracts to make sure they are being followed. Doing this it’s not really a natural condition. But that’s really natural. Thinning these trees will promote the safety and health of the trees. Following up with a prescribed burn is a critical part. They need it to survive. The small trees are sickly.

Ranger Gordon suggested we look at already-treated areas to get an idea of what it will look like.

The community’s concern over removal of trees was discussed. Betty Miller stated we didn’t get a chance to bid on the oak firewood sold last year. Ranger Gordon took responsibility for the lack of communication and said the community would be notified of changes to come.

Scott Spleiss discussed the Cherry dumping area. Requested residents dump only yard material; Scott Spleiss is in his 10th season of working the fuels projects, prescribed burns, and fighting fires in and around Prescott National Forest area. He discussed the map, showing remaining fiscal 2013 and all of 2014 scheduled burning. He also discussed 117 acres associated with Sunnybrook mine area they would like to do initial treatment with. This includes crush the brush, knock it down, rearrange fuel, come in and burn it and follow up with additional treatments by opening canopies.

Mr. Spleiss will supply Karen Bruno with websites to add to our website for forestry information. Ranger Gordon will provide the NIPA website so we can look at the environmental survey on animals, etc.

By nature of the work they do they look at ecological time frames based on what they know historically and what they’ve gathered scientifically. To maintain pine trees we currently have, they need to perform this type of work to make sure the trees are still present 100 years from now. Mr. Spleiss also discussed projects coming up – one of which was 117 acres around Sunnybrook. They are currently waiting on funding; There has been a 10% reduction in seasonal firefighters due to the sequester.

Phone books: All in attendance received the new 2013-2014 Cherry Phone Book. Those not in attendance will receive a phone book by mail. Additional copies may be purchased for $3.50 each.

CVFA hats and t-shirts are still available for purchase. See Karen Bruno for details. Cost is $20 each.

The meeting adjourned at 1:50 pm.

Duly Submitted – Karen Bruno, Secretary