As the unique environment of Madera Canyon began to be threatened by human encroachment and environmental degradation, local residents and businesses came together in 1987 to form the Friends of Madera Canyon as a response to the U.S. Forest Service's appeal to the public for volunteers to help preserve and protect Madera Canyon. The Friends of Madera Canyon is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that assists in advancing historical, scientific, educational, and interpretive programs in Madera Canyon. Our 500-plus household members (about 1,000 individual members) volunteer to contribute on average 10,000 hours per year to guarantee that Madera Canyon remains one of Arizona's premier destinations for nature lovers. New challenges continue to face us. There are constant threats to the beauty of the canyon and our programs there. New housing developments and mining proposals can destroy the whole Santa Rita sky island ecosystem. Contact Save the Scenic Santa Ritas or the Sky Island Alliance for more information. Fire has been a realized threat during the past few years. The U.S. Forest Service is under great financial constraints and thereby limited in its support of recreational programs.

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