Burned Area Rehabilitation Project

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge

The Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge is looking for volunteer help with our Burned Area Rehabilitation (BAR) project!

Volunteers planting during the spring install.

The BAR project is a collaboration between FWS and Altar Valley Conservation Alliance. We will be working in an area that experienced a human caused wildfire 3 years ago. The fire damaged about 4,000 acres, 2,000 of which was on Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, leaving behind a large burn scar. The primary goal of our restoration effort is the re-establishment of native plants to provide proper habitat for Masked Bobwhite quail, as well as increased watershed function and ecological resilience. We are working with 13 plant species that are native to the Sonoran Desert and will provide proper cover and food resources for the MBQ as well as a diversity of wildlife including deer, pronghorn, and migratory birds. The BAR project is multifaceted and requires not only the installation of native plants, but also seeding, management of mesquite trees, and erosion mitigation. The BAR team has already installed 6500 plants during the spring months and will be doing it again this fall!

The team will be planting 4800 plants between October 4th–7th & 12th–15th and 1200 plants November 1st–3rd .

This is a great opportunity to see a remote part of the refuge and to help restore the area back to its native habitat. Volunteers can sign up for one day or multiple.

Volunteers and USFWS staff setting plants at predetermined planting locations during the spring install.

Objective: The Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge is looking for volunteer help with our Burned Area Rehabilitation project! This is a great opportunity to see a remote part of the refuge and to help restore an area affected by a human caused wildfire. The BAR team will be planting 6500 native plant species as a means of restoring the Masked Bobwhite quail habitat.

Position description: Our daily planting schedule is 7am- (about) 330pm. We will be planting 600 plants per day. This involves offloading plants to the predetermined site, planting the plants with added soil amendments, top mulching, encasing the seedlings in tree-tubes for protection, and installing drip irrigation. Being that the project site is in a remote area of the refuge, we prefer to have everyone work the full day but can be flexible if necessary.

Requirements: If interested please bring lots of water, a large lunch with plenty of snacks, and full sun protection (long pants and long sleeves plus a hat and sunscreen is recommended). Must be able to lift 20 lbs, walk over rugged terrain, squat/ bend over and stand for multiple hours, and be comfortable working in varying weather.

Location: Parking lot of the Fire Cache at Buenos Aires NWR. (see attached map)

Time: October 4th-7th, 12th-15th and November 1st-3rd. Meeting outside the cache at 7am.

Openings available: All

Who to contact if interested:

Morgan Walter: morgan_walter@fws.gov

Geoffrey Bland: geoffrey_bland@fws.gov

Fully planted circuit, with drip tube irrigation and tree-tube protectors.

Directions from Tucson to Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge

Address: 37257 S. Sasabe Rd, Sasabe AZ 85633


From Tucson, take highway 86 west to Three Points. At that junction, turn south on Highway 286. Go ~40 miles south. Pass the paved entrance road at mile marker ~7 and continue to the dirt entrance road at mile marker 6.5. It’ll be on the left. Continue down the dirt road. You’ll approach 2 large buildings on the right with tall pine trees between them, park between the pines. Travel time to the refuge from the south side of Tucson is about 1-1.5 hrs.

Directions to Fire Cache

Every morning we will meet outside the Fire Cache at 7am. Park under the pine trees. We will caravan to the wash as a group.

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