Why Healthy Forests?

Covering nearly 21 million acres in Arizona, our forests are a vital resource that impacts our state on many levels­–as a natural treasure, environmental asset and economic driver. But for too long we’ve enjoyed its many gifts without giving back in return. It’s time we stop taking our forests for granted.



Rain and snow feed our rivers and streams and replenish groundwater

Tributaries off of rivers irrigate crops

Produces the majority of drinking water for Arizona residents

Minimizes wildfires and reduces greenhouse gas emissions

Supplies water for hydroelectric energy

Supports one of Arizona's leading economic drivers: tourism

Our Quality of Life Depends On Healthy Forests


Arizona’s forested landscapes contribute as much as 90 percent of the water that flows into streams and rivers, particularly the Salt and Verde rivers that supply about half of the drinking water to communities in the Phoenix area. Forests and watersheds in Arizona are home to some of the most scenic and visited recreation sites in the state, from the Lower Salt River in the Tonto National Forest to the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff and Sedona bordered by the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests, creating billions of tourism dollars and supporting Arizona’s economy.

This is why it’s necessary to protect and enhance our forests and watershed resilience. Organizations and agencies at the federal, state and local level are working toward improving landscapes and water supplies, though often in different ways. Our goal is to achieve a holistic approach for the proactive management of our state’s natural resources.



Our forests have reached a critical stage due to lack of action. They are unhealthy, dry and overgrown, providing the fuel to create catastrophic wildfires.


  • Wildfires and Loss
  • Risk of contamination of water supplies
  • Strain on agriculture with low reserve for crops
  • Added economic burden for fighting fires and rebuilding
  • Loss of tourism for our travel and hospitality industry



Our solutions encourage proactive management of our forests, the results of which will provide more opportunities for growth in rural communities and throughout the state.


  • Forest thinning and prescribed burns
  • Re-establishing a forest products industry
  • Releasing more land for treatment by accelerating the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Support adaptive management of treated forested lands
  • Sediment and soil erosion management
  • Habitat improvement and revegetation projects

Restoring Arizona's Forests

Fire and Water


Arizona Forward's Role

Join Us to Promote Forest Health

We help mobilize action by bringing partners together to develop and implement innovative solutions to restore our forests to a healthy state. No one entity can fund and support the scale of forest restoration needs in Arizona – partners must come together, recognizing that while the costs and effort may be significant, the cost of inaction is far greater.