Three key issues determine all decisions being made: public safety, protection of public property, and protection of natural resources.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, and Arizona Department of Transportation are in ongoing discussions to determine access protocol to portions of Game Management Units 1 and 27 that were impacted by the Wallow Fire. Discussions include access roads, dispersed camping, and motorized big game retrieval.
All fall hunts will occur and take place as scheduled. Protocols will be agreed upon and the public will be able to access this information at www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf and www.azgfd.gov. Ongoing map updates will be supplied through these websites and hard copies at the Pinetop Game and Fish office, the Apache-Sitgreaves Supervisor’s office, and local ranger district offices.
"Game and Fish fully understands the ASNFs’ very difficult situation with the enormity of the Wallow Fire and all its associated issues. We deeply appreciate the Forest working diligently with us in a close relationship to reopen many of the fire-impacted areas in such a short time-frame. The Forest has been receptive to our suggestions and has gone out of their way to ensure hunts take place that have been scheduled this fall. We ask the hunting community and general public to understand the scale of this situation and to have tolerance and patience as we all work together to restore access back to the National Forest lands affected by fire," said Jon Cooley, regional supervisor in the Pinetop Game and Fish office.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability in its programs and activities. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against in any of the AGFD’s programs or activities, including employment practices, they may file a complaint with the Director's Office, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000, (602) 942-3000, or with the Fish and Wildlife Service, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. Ste. 130, Arlington, VA 22203. Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation or this document in an alternative format by contacting the Director's Office as listed above.