FOCC Newsletter - Annual Report  2020


Our Mission is to inspire appreciation and understanding of the beauty, biodiversity and legacy of Cave Creek Canyon through volunteer work and outreach programs.

2020 Annual Report

Greetings, Friends!

This is the first annual report from Friends of Cave Creek Canyon, and I hope you enjoy reading about some of the projects and programs your memberships and donations have helped make possible.

In past years we have reviewed these accomplishments all too briefly at our Annual Meeting in December.  Not meeting in person this year means we can cover this year’s activities in greater depth in this report.  I hope it will become a new tradition!

Below you will see the opening paragraphs of six topics: the South Fork Day Use Area Project, the Visitor Information Center, Education Outreach, Willow Tank, the Financial Report, and Chiricahua-Peloncillo Heritage Days. To read more than the first paragraph on each topic, please click on the line after the paragraph which says “Learn More About …”.

To read the entire report click here

Most of our projects have been uncontroversial, but the South Fork Day Use Area Project has generated both support and opposition. We remain convinced that this project will contribute to the health of the South Fork area of the canyon, reducing pollution by providing permanent restroom facilities, and concentrating casual visitation to an area only 300 yards from the paved road. The controversy has been painful. The positive aspect of it is that all involved are passionate about the health of South Fork.

FOCCC has a wonderful hard-working board as well as terrific volunteers, all of whom have contributed their time and expertise to helping Cave Creek Canyon.  They are responsible for so much good that has occurred in the canyon, and I cannot thank them enough. 

Thank you for your support. We look forward to continuing our efforts in the new year.

Reed Peters


Friends of Cave Creek Canyon Board of Directors

Reed Peters    President         

Sheri Ashley    Vice President          

Mike Williams  Vice President        

Pat Parran      Secretary 

Rick Beno       Treasurer      

Bob Ashley     

Alan Craig     

Rene Donaldson

Rolf Koford

Jeff Wakefield

Cecil Williams

The South Fork Day Use Area Project

By Mike Williams and Reed Peters

In Sept., 2014 Hurricane Odile caused major flooding in Cave Creek Canyon. The very popular trail head area at the end of Cave Creek South Fork Rd. [FS42E] and about ¼ mile of road were destroyed. Between 7"-12" rain fell overnight i n the Canyon. Without toilet facilities, Cave Creek became polluted from human waste.  

The purpose of this Project is to replace the vault toilet, benches, picnic tables, and other elements that enable all of the public to appreciate and enjoy the area.

This project is very small, only occupying less than 1 acre of land in the entire canyon. Additionally, it is just on the edge of the Biological-Zoological Zone, about 300 yards from the junction with FR 42.

Learn More about the South Fork Project

Visitor Information Center

By Rolf Koford

In a normal year, the VIC is a popular stop for visitors to Cave Creek Canyon. This year  started normally. With staffing by FOCCC volunteers, the VIC was open seven days a week to assist visitors with information about campgrounds, hiking, birding and the area. There is also the occasional tire needing air, access to Wi-Fi, or just someone wanting to chat after spending hours on the road. All this activity came to a screeching halt in March, when the Forest Service told us to close because of the pandemic.

Learn more about the Visitor Center

Education Outreach

by Carol Frischmann

Friends of Cave Creek Canyon provided educational field trips to a select group of underserved school-aged children in a pilot program funded by the Arizona Community Foundation. In addition to the field trips, we were able to hire a consultant to help our education coordinator Carol Frischmann streamline the field trip process and create 3 “digital handbooks”, one for each of the stakeholder groups (teachers, FOCCC volunteers, and parents). These handbooks ensure that the field trips are consistent, streamlined, and successful. 

Learn more about Education Outreach

Willow Tank 

By Rene Donaldson and Alan Craig

Willow Tank is one of the very few reliable sources of water for birds and critters on the east side of the Chiricahua Mountains and has also been used by the Forest Service in controlling fires. It is located in Arizona, west on Sulphur Canyon Road off of State Line Road south of Rodeo, New Mexico, and is managed by FOCCC on property owned by Larry Rivers.

Learn more about Willow Tank

2020 Financial Report

     By Rick Beno, Treasurer


As the treasurer of the FoCCC I would like to personally thank all of our current and past members as well as others who have donated both time and funds in support of the goals of the FoCCC. With your help we have met many of our rather ambitious programs designed to keep the Cave Creek Canyon both natural but accessible.


Now, we have to realize that 2020 has been anything but normal. Our Visitors Center has been mostly closed for business and visits. The region has had lower than normal visitation and has required a “bit” of adjustment on our position.

For more of the Treasurer's Report

Chiricahua-Peloncillo Heritage Days 

  By Kim Vacariu

After several months of preparation and securing of presenters, Heritage Days 2020 was cancelled due to the Coronavirus situation. Fortunately, most of the confirmed presenters agreed to be on-call for Heritage Days 2021, so should a traditional Heritage Days be possible in September, 2021 there is an impressive slate of talks to choose from. However, it is the general consensus of the event’s principal sponsor, Friends of Cave Creek Canyon, that a traditional Heritage Days celebration, including presentations, food, outdoor market, and movies can only be possible if vaccines have been widely available and administered in out area. If that is not the case, several options exist to continue the event in a virtual format. Decisions on Heritage Days 2021 will be made by the FOCCC Board beginning April 1, 2021.

We Thank Our 2020 Volunteers!


Dave Baird

John Barthelme 

Shane Burchfield and 

Laurel of [Bugs of America]

Vicki Beno

Bonnie Bowen

Alan Craig

Debra Davison

Maya Decker

Tony Donaldson

Michele Lanan

Jackie Lewis

Barbara Miller

Mel Moe

Jack and Alice Newton

Larry Rivers

Bob Rodrigues

Joan and Rick Schneider

Dirk Sigler

Lorriane Titus

Jimmi Walker

Mary Sue Waser

Pedro Romero

Rachel Tevis

Andrew Waser

Steve Wolfe

Photo by Steve Wolfe


Thanks to our "Sustainer's Circle" and Lifetime Members for their generous support:  

Kirby Alguire

Tom Arny

Bob and Bettina Arrigoni

Susan Dalby & Eskild Petersen

Stephen Durkovich

L. Syrene Forsman

Charles and Mary George

Bill and Sally Hague

Paul Hirt and Linda Jakse

Fritz and Gayle Jandry

Don Hollister

Claudia Kirscher

Mike Leuthold

Barbara Lounsbery

Patrick McNamara

John and Karin McQuillan

Barbara and Pete Miller

Patricia Parran

Cecilia Raak

Tom Roseman and Paula Baldwin

Delia Scholes and Ed Newbold

Andrew & Ellen Stepniewski

John and Linda Sumner

Jeff and Alice Wakefield

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.     

A.S.K. Pest Control 

Cave Creek Ranch 

Chiricahua Gallery

Ed Newbold Wildlife Artist

Naturalist Journeys, LLC 

Portal Peak Store and Lodge 

Sky Island Grill & Grocery  

The George Walker House     

Wynne Brown 

Casa Petra Vera 

Chiricahua Desert Museum

Daussin & Associates


OL' Morani Ranch 

Quailway Cottage

Sky Island Lodge

Sky Island Rolfing  

Umphres Propane

Friends of Cave Creek 

Canyon Website

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© Howard Topoff 2011