The Gateway to the Colorado Plateau
In arid regions, water is the most critical natural resource. Isolated by the harsh surrounding landscape, springs are ecologically vital islands of habitat that support high biodiversity and endemism. In spite of the critical nature of water, aridland springs are inadequately protected, poorly mapped, and insufficiently understood. What limited information exists is largely unavailable to land managers who are charged with their protection.
Arizona, America’s second-driest state, likely contains the highest concentration of springs. The number of springs is unknown, as hundreds or likely thousands remain unmapped. Although several point feature layers exist for the state, none are complete and each contains features not included in the others. This map displays a compilation of springs location data provided by numerous sources, including land managers, Tribal governments, conservation organizations, and individual researchers.
Working in cooperation with participating organizations and agencies, SSI has compiled detailed information of certain areas in Arizona:
- Arizona Strip
- North Kaibab Ranger District
- Williams District
- Grand Canyon Ecoregion
- Coconino National Forest
- Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
- Sky Islands
We have also been providing technical assistance to Dr. Abe Springer and his graduate students from Northern Arizona University to inventory and assess 200 springs within the Four Forest Restoration Initiative area.
With funding from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, and in collaboration with Northern Arizona University and the Wildlands Network, SSI is developing a springs monitoring field application for smartphones and tablets. This citizen-science approach to collecting springs data will be instrumental in testing the effectiveness of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) of national forests in northern Arizona.
An interactive map of publicly available Arizona Springs information is available at ArcGIS Online.