The Sonoran Desert National Monument has experienced a lot of negative publicity because of the illegal smuggling activities occurring there throughout the past several years and many Americans are fearful of visiting the Sonoran Desert National Monument south of Interstate 8. The Friends of the Sonoran Desert National Monument believe that we should not be intimidated from visiting our public land so we have initiated the Take Our Monument Back program to demonstrate our commitment to the Sonoran Desert National Monument and all public land.
The Friends of the Sonoran Desert National Monument have demonstrated this commitment by providing hikes and conservation work projects so that the public can also demonstrate their dedication and love of our public lands.
On November 4, 2012 the Friends of the Sonoran Desert National Monument conducted a hike led by Dave Morris to view some spectacular petroglyphs and geoglyphs in the Table Top Mountain Wilderness area. The petroglyphs and geoglyphs are thought to have been made about 1000 years by the ancient Hohokam people.
Fortunately these important cultural resources are protected from OHV use because they are within the wilderness area. Wilderness area designation prohibits the use of motorize vehicles within the wilderness area boundaries. Just the simple act of keeping vehicles out of an area preserves cultural and natural resources does so much to preserve our cultural and natural heritage.
The FSDNM, the Sierra Club and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on December 1, 2012 made significant progress on Taking Our Monument Back. Roughly 7,400 feet of smuggler trail were decommissioned and reclaimed, four signs installed, and one mile of an illegal road was closed, totaling 12,600 feet of road decommissioned or closed.
The Friends of the Sonoran Desert National Monument will continue this program throughout the year. We will send out a Spring 2013 calendar of events soon.