Effects of the Woodbury Fire on wildlife to be discussed Dec. 11

Part of SALT Speakers Series 'Fire in the Superstitions'


Laura Orscheln, wildlife manager of local Game Management Unit 24B for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, will review the results of the Woodbury Fire survey from both short- and long-term perspectives at the Dec. 11 SALT Speakers Series.

Her presentation will be 6:30-7:30 p.m. in room B-117 at the Apache Junction Multigenerational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Road, according to a release.

The Woodbury Fire burned nearly 124,000 acres, mostly in the Superstition Wilderness Area, from early June through mid-July of 2019.

As soon as the fire was contained, Tonto National Forest put together a Burn Area Emergency Response team to assess the fire’s effects.

Arizona Game and Fish Department staff worked with the BAER team and provided input on wildlife, habitat conditions and prospects in the burn area. AZGFD Game Specialists observed game and other animals and birds in both the burned and adjacent areas as they flew low level helicopter flights in a grid pattern, the release states.

Ms. Orscheln will have flown over the Woodbury Fire burn area less than a week before her presentation, so may have some new information and perspectives relative to recovery, according to the release.

She grew up in the Midwest where she fostered a love for the outdoors and wildlife. She has a bachelor’s degree in wildlife conservation and management, and worked as an officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife for several years prior to moving to Arizona.

As wildlife manager for Unit 24B, Ms. Orscheln's responsibilities include the Superstition Mountains and watercraft patrols on Apache Lake. She has been with AZGFD for just over three years, according to the release.

“Fire in the Superstitions” is part of the SALT Speakers Series, which is co-sponsored by the Superstition Area Land Trust and the Apache Junction Parks & Recreation Department. Talks are held on most second and fourth Wednesdays October-April. While this will be the last talk of this calendar year, the series will continue Jan. 8, 2020. All are free and geared for the public, according to the release.

The Superstition Area Land Trust is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Go to azsalt.org

Woodbury Fire