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					United States
Department of
Agriculture

Forest
Service

Southwestern
Region
                Environmental
                Assessment
                Camp Creek Cabin Removal Evaluation

                Cave Creek Ranger District, Tonto National Forest


                Maricopa County, Arizona




                                           April, 2011
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Printed on recycled paper – April, 2011
Content

Summary ........................................................................................................................................ iii

Chapter 1 – Purpose and Need ........................................................................................................ 1

    Document Structure ................................................................................................................... 1

    Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 1

    Purpose and Need for Action ..................................................................................................... 2

    Proposed Action ......................................................................................................................... 3

    Decision Framework .................................................................................................................. 3

    Public Involvement .................................................................................................................... 3

    Issues .......................................................................................................................................... 3

Chapter 2 - Alternatives................................................................................................................... 5

    Alternatives ................................................................................................................................ 5

    Alternative 1 ............................................................................................................................... 5

    Alternative 2 ............................................................................................................................... 5

    Mitigation Measures Specific to the Proposed Action ............................................................... 6

Chapter 3 - Environmental Consequences....................................................................................... 9

    Scenery Management ................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.

         Affected Environment .......................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.

         Environmental Consequences .............................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.

    Water Resources ......................................................................................................................... 9

         Environmental Consequences ............................................................................................. 12

         Cumulative Effects for Alternatives 1 and 2 ....................................................................... 13

    Soil Resources .......................................................................................................................... 14

         Affected Environment ......................................................................................................... 14

         Environmental Consequences ............................................................................................. 14

    Social and Economic Analysis ................................................................................................. 15

         Affected Environment ......................................................................................................... 15



Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                                                                       i
Contents




          Environmental Consequences ............................................................................................. 18

          Cumulative Effects for Alternatives 1 and 2 ....................................................................... 18

          Environmental Justice ......................................................................................................... 19

     Heritage Resources................................................................................................................... 19

          Affected Environment ......................................................................................................... 19

          Environmental Consequences ............................................................................................. 21

     Wildlife and Fisheries .............................................................................................................. 22

          Affected Environment ......................................................................................................... 22

          Management Indicator Species ........................................................................................... 24

          Environmental Consequences ............................................................................................. 27

          Cumulative Effects Section ................................................................................................. 29

Chapter 4 - Consultation and Coordination ................................................................................... 33

     ID Team Members:................................................................................................................... 33

     Federal and State Officials and Agencies ................................................................................. 33

     Tribes........................................................................................................................................ 33

     Others ....................................................................................................................................... 33

Chapter 5 – References.................................................................................................................. 35

Chapter 6 – List of Preparers ......................................................................................................... 37

Appendix A……………………………………………………………………………………….36

Appendix B……………………………………………………………………………………….39




ii                                                  Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF
Summary
The Camp Creek Recreation Residence Tract (tract) is located within the Camp Creek watershed
located on the Cave Creek Ranger District. The tract is accessed by Forest Road 24 and is
approximately seven miles from the Cave Creek Ranger District office. The closest community to
the tract is Scottsdale, Arizona. Recreation Residences (cabins) are authorized to occupy lots
under the authority of a term Special Use Permit (SUP). To retain authority to utilize their lots
and maintain a cabin on National Forest System (NFS) lands the permit holder must comply with
the terms and conditions of the authorization. The consequence for failing to do so is permit
revocation.

The process followed by the agency is to work with the individual permittees to bring them back
into compliance. If the permittee fails to do so, a Notice of Non-Compliance is sent to the
permittee that reiterates the steps needed to regain compliance and sets a timeline at the end of
which compliance must be achieved. If the permittee fails to be in compliance a Notice of
Revocation is issued and the permittee is given 180 days to remove their improvements from NFS
lands and restore the lot to its natural setting. If the permittee fails to do so the Forest Service can
remove the unauthorized improvements and charge the permittees for costs associated with that
removal and restoration of the lot. In 2009 two cabins (#7 and #54) were revoked and the
permittees were notified that they are required to remove their improvements from NFS lands. To
date, the permittees have failed to do so. The Forest Service plans to remove these two cabins and
their associated improvements from the tract.

The Forest Service evaluated the following alternatives:

Alternative 1: No Action
Under the No Action alternative, the revoked cabins and authorized structures would remain on
their respective lots under Forest Service ownership. The septic systems on these lots would be
closed in accordance with Arizona Administrative Code R-18-9-A309 and Maricopa
Environmental Health Code Chapter 2 Section 8. The Forest Service has no need to maintain
improvements on the sites even if the budget could sustain such an effort. Through time the
cabins would continue to age, fall into disrepair and become a safety risk for the public and Forest
Service employees. The two historic elements located on these lots (water hydrant located on lot
#7 and privy located on lot #54) would be unaffected and remain in their locations.

Alternative 2: Proposed Action
Under the Proposed Action alternative the Forest Service would removal all improvements,
except the historic water hydrant and privy. The means of removal would be tailored to the
specific circumstance of the lot. For example, proximity of the stream channel, contour of fill
slope, access, etc. would be addressed. After all improvements are removed, the individual lots
would be allowed to return to their natural state.

This Environmental Assessment presents the results of an analysis of the direct, indirect, and
cumulative environmental consequences of the proposed action and no action. Implementation of
this action─ that is, the removal of two cabins, associated structures and returning the lots to a
natural state may affect the local environment in the short term, but it is expected that the long
term impact to the local environment would move towards desired future conditions.




Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                       iii
Chapter 1 – Purpose and Need

Document Structure
The Forest Service has prepared this Environmental Assessment in compliance with the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other relevant federal and state laws and regulations. This
Environmental Assessment discloses the direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts
that would result from the proposed action and alternatives. The document is organized into four
parts:

        Introduction: The section includes information on the history of the project proposal, the
        purpose of and need for the project, and the agency’s proposal for achieving that purpose
        and need. This section also details how the Forest Service informed the public of the
        proposal and how the public responded.
        Comparison of Alternatives, including the Proposed Action: This section provides a more
        detailed description of the agency’s proposed action as well as alternative methods for
        achieving the stated purpose. These alternatives were developed based on significant
        issues raised by the public and other agencies. This discussion also includes possible
        mitigation measures. Finally, this section provides a summary table of the environmental
        consequences associated with each alternative.
        Environmental Consequences: This section describes the environmental effects of
        implementing the proposed action and other alternatives. This analysis is organized by
        resource area. Within each section, the affected environment is described first, followed
        by the effects of the No Action Alternative that provides a baseline for evaluation and
        comparison of the other alternatives that follow.
        Agencies and Persons Consulted: This section provides a list of preparers and agencies
        consulted during the development of the environmental assessment.
        Appendices: The appendices provide more detailed information to support the analyses
        presented in the environmental assessment.


Introduction
Cabin #7
The revoked Special Use Permit was initially issued on August 16, 1993, and authorized the
cabin, outhouse/shed and stone retaining walls on the approximately 0.16 acre lot. In an
inspection conducted by District personnel on June 22, 2005, after the Cave Creek Complex Fire
burned through the tract it was noted that the outhouse/shed had burned down, but the cabin and
stone retaining walls were intact. On August 2, 2006, an inspection noted that the outhouse was
not properly sealed and the door paint was chipped and falling off. On July 24, 2007, the
inspection noted that in addition to the items on the August 2, 2006, inspection additional items
needed to be done: the roof was in need of repair, wire was coming out near the French door, light
and electrical were on the ground near the house, a light was nailed to a tree (which is not
acceptable), particle board was improperly stored on the roof and the interior was filled with
miscellaneous storage items. Subsequent inspections indicated further peeling paint and that none
of previously required work had been completed to date. With the interior being filled with
miscellaneous debris and construction items and the continuing deterioration of the cabin it was
deemed uninhabitable. The permittee was again notified that these items needed to be corrected to
remain in compliance with the terms and conditions of the Special Use Permit. These items
remained uncorrected and a Notice of Non-Compliance was issued to the permittee on December


Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                  1
Chapter 1 – Purpose and Need




10, 2007, stating that specific items cited must be corrected within 90 days and that failure to do
so could result in revocation of the Special Use Permit. When the permittee failed to take the
required actions a Notice of Revocation was issued on February 4, 2009, giving the permittee 180
days to remove the improvements from NFS lands. After 180 days the Forest Service impounded
the improvements and issued a letter notifying the permittee that she is still responsible for
removing her improvements and that if the agency has to remove them the permittee will be
charged for all costs associated with their removal and restoring the lot.

Cabin #54
The revoked Special Use Permit for lot #54 was issued on September 8, 1998, and authorized a
cabin, storage shed, concrete patio, septic disposal system, 100’ of rock and mortar retaining
walls and steps, gated driveway and satellite dish on an approximately 0.25 acre lot. [Prior to this
11 year permit being issued, separate one year Special Use Permits were issued allowing the
permittee to do renovations (prior to the cabin burning down in 1993) and rebuild (after the cabin
burned)]. On February 26, 1993, the permittee called the Cave Creek Ranger District office and
said he felt the floor in the cabin had cracked due to settling/shifting of the fill material behind the
retaining wall. That cabin burned down on March 16, 1993. In March of 1995, during the
approval process to rebuild the cabin, the District Ranger requested the permittee provide
professional recommendations to repair the retaining wall. From March 1995 till January 25,
2006, there were many discussions and requests for professional plans to repair or replace the
retaining wall. The permittee submitted hand drawn plans to repair the retaining wall to the Cave
Creek Ranger District on January 25, 2006. The Forest Service did not approve the request, but
asked the permittee to submit stamped engineering drawings, scour and wall foundation analysis,
potential impacts to upstream users resulting from implementation of repairs and a description of
how work would commence. On September 27, 2006, the permittee made the same request as on
January 25, 2006, without submitting the previously requested drawings, analysis, impacts or
work description. The work was again denied. When the permittee failed to comply with the
request and the wall was documented to be failing the Forest Service issued a Notice of Non-
Compliance on December 12, 2007, which gave the permittee 90 days to submit these documents.
A Notice of Non-Compliance was issued to the permittee on February 4, 2009, when he failed to
provide the required information giving him 180 days to remove his improvements from NFS
lands and return the lot to its natural state. When the permittee failed to remove the improvements
the Forest Service impounded them and issued a letter to the permittee stating that he remains
responsible for removal and restoration and if the agency removes the improvements and restores
the lot the permittee will be charged for the costs associated with that action.


Purpose and Need for Action
There is a need to remove improvements located on lots #7 and #54 that are trespassing on NFS
lands and to restore these two lots to a natural condition because the Special Use Permits for these
lots have been revoked. As a result these cabins are no longer authorized to remain in the tract
pursuant to CFR 251.60 (a) (B). This action responds to the goals and objectives outlined in the
Tonto Forest Plan, and follows Forest Service direction for special uses authorized in that Plan
(p. 68).




2                                   Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF
                                                                       Chapter 1 – Purpose and Need




Proposed Action
The Forest Service proposes to remove all improvements (excluding the historic water hydrant
located on lot #7 and the historic privy located on lot #54) from lots #7 and #54 and to return the
lots to a natural state to meet the purpose and need.


Decision Framework
The Forest Supervisor has designated the Cave Creek District Ranger as the deciding official for
this project. The District Ranger will decide whether to adopt and implement the Proposed Action
or the No Action Alternative. The District Ranger may require additional measures to mitigate
impacts identified in this assessment. If the District Ranger determines that there are no
significant impacts, the decision will be documented in a Finding of No Significant Impact and
Decision Notice.

The decision is subject to the Forest Service’s administrative appeals process. If the Proposed
Action is chosen, implementation will be through the Forest Service contract approval process. A
contract would be awarded to remove both cabins and rehabilitate the sites. No additional NEPA
analysis or documentation is anticipated prior to implementation.


Public Involvement
The proposal was listed in the Schedule of Proposed Actions on December 8, 2009. The proposal
was provided to the public and other agencies for comment during scoping December 8, 2009,
through January 5, 2010. There were a total of 36 comments received. Using the comments from
the public and other agencies, the interdisciplinary team identified that no issues that would drive
an additional alternatives were received.


Issues
The Forest Service separated the issues into two groups: significant and non-significant issues.
Significant issues were defined as those directly or indirectly caused by implementing the
proposed action. Non-significant issues were identified as those: 1) outside the scope of the
proposed action; 2) already decided by law, regulation, Forest Plan, or other higher level decision;
3) irrelevant to the decision to be made; or 4) conjectural and not supported by scientific or
factual evidence. The Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA regulations require this
delineation in Sec. 1501.7, “…identify and eliminate from detailed study the issues which are not
significant or which have been covered by prior environmental review (Sec. 1506.3)…” A list of
non-significant issues and reasons regarding their categorization as non-significant may be found
in Appendix A.




Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                       3
Chapter 2 - Alternatives
This chapter describes and compares in detail the Proposed Action and No Action alternatives
considered for the Camp Creek Cabin Removal Evaluation project. This section presents the
alternatives in comparative form, in order to define the differences between each alternative and
providing a clear basis for choice among options by the decision maker and the public. Mitigation
and monitoring measures incorporated into the alternatives are also described.

No additional alternatives were proposed or considered because scoping efforts did not result in
identification of significant issues that could not be addressed through project design or
mitigation measures, or the No Action and Proposed Action alternatives.


Alternatives
Alternative 1
No Action
All improvements would remain on their associated lots and no maintenance would occur on the
improvements. Septic systems would be treated to comply with state and county requirements.
Historic elements would remain in their current locations.

Alternative 2
The Proposed Action
The improvements from lots #7 and #54 would be removed as documented below. Historical
structures at both cabins would remain and the retaining wall on the western side and the stone
patio on the southern side of Cabin #7 would remain.

Lot #7

All utilities would be disconnected prior to work. A contractor would be retained to demolish the
cabin using hand tools and would transport the materials across the Camp Creek to a receptacle
located nearby in such a way that does not damage riparian ecosystem components in the long
term. The contractor would access the cabin by crossing the stream just north of the cabin using
the same pathway to put in the chlorination system for the Kentuck Springs water system. A
dumpster or dump truck would be placed here in an area currently free of vegetation. Material
would be removed from NFS lands and taken to a trash collection facility. No heavy equipment
would cross the creek. There is no septic system located on this lot. The permittee previously
used the privy, which burned down in 2005 during the Cave Creek Complex fire. The tank was
sealed following the fire. The vault would remain on the lot.

The historic water hydrant would be protected and remain in place.

The contractor would provide traffic controls while demolition is taking place to notify motorists
of a potential hazard. The contractor would be responsible for following all standard safety
protocols during their work.




Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                      5
Chapter 2 – Alternatives




Cabin #54

Prior to removal of improvements located on the lot, the septic system would be pumped. The
system would be removed following the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s rules
under Title 18 Environmental Quality, Chapter 9 Water Pollution Control, Article 3 Part A and
Maricopa Environmental Health code Chapter 2 Section 8 for clean closure of septic systems. All
utilities would be disconnected prior to the work.

All work would be contracted. Some trees adjacent to the lot driveway would be pruned to
facilitate the removal of the cabin. The demolished cabin would be removed from NFS lands and
taken to an appropriate land fill facility.

Once the cabin is removed, the septic system, concrete patio slab, rock and mortar walls, and fill
from the lot would be removed. All work would be conducted using Best Management Practices.
With mitigation in place, little or no debris would enter the creek.

The contractor would provide traffic controls while demolition is taking place to notify motorists
of a potential hazard. The contractor would be responsible for following all standard safety
protocols during their work.

The historic privy would be protected and remain in its current location.


Mitigation Measures Specific to the Proposed Action
Soil and debris from cabin dismantling and site restoration shall not be discharged into the
channel of Camp Creek. Silt fence, wattles or other erosion control structures would be installed
to prevent sediment from leaving the disturbed area.

Dismantling of the wall at Cabin 54 and removal of backfill material behind the wall would be
completed without discharge into the channel of Camp Creek. Suitable engineering techniques
that permit the wall and backfilled material to be removed safely, such as phased removal of
backfilled material and the wall, would be used.

The creek will be diverted around the deconstruction area during dismantling activities of Cabin
#54’s wall and cabin.

A 404 Permit may be necessary if it appears likely that parts of the wall would collapse into the
channel during dismantling activities. Nationwide Permit Number 18 (Minor Discharges) would
be an appropriate nationwide permit to qualify under. An assessment of whether the site qualifies
as a special aquatic site would be completed if collapse of the wall into the channel seems likely.

Immediately following operations, the cabin sites would be naturalized. The site around the
cabins would be regraded to match the existing terrain and rocks would be scattered around the
site. Native trees and shrubs appropriate to the area would be planted in natural groupings that
mimic the surrounding landscape. In addition, all disturbed soil would be seeded (native mix) and
stabilized (erosion and sediment control).

Demolition of Cabin 7 would require mitigation to prevent lead from lead-based paint from
contaminating soil. Standard abatement procedures as outlined in Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) guidelines should be followed. [Lead Abatement Professionals, (EPA Updated


6                                  Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF
                                                                           Chapter 2 - Alternatives




12/17/2010)]. Demolition of Cabin 54 will require mitigation to prevent asbestos from tiles from
entering the soil. Standard abatement procedures will be used (Asbestos, Why Do You Need to be
Concerned about Asbestos, EPA).

Disturbed sites would be re-vegetated with an approved seed mix.




Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                  7
Chapter 2 - Alternatives




Table 1. Comparison of Alternatives
                           Alternative 1 No Action              Alternative 2 Proposed Action
                            Cabins 7 & 54:VQO not met;
                           disrepair would contrast
Scenery Management                                              VQO would be met
                           Cabin 54: failure of wall –
                           negative impact
                           Cabin 7 - no negative impacts
                                                                Cabin 7 – Limited short term
                           Cabin 54 – failure/collapse of
                                                                damage to creek during removal
                           wall into channel could block or
                                                                Cabin 54 – Reduction of current
                           further confine channel; asbestos
                                                                constriction of creek during flood
Water Resources            tiles could contaminate soil; add
                                                                flows; minor short term increase in
                           sediment to and increase turbidity
                                                                erosion until revegetation; riparian
                           in channel; E.coli and nitrates
                                                                vegetation could occupy area
                           from septic system could affect
                                                                currently occupied by Cabin 54
                           water quality
                                                              Cabin 7 –minor soil erosion during
                           Cabin 7 – Soils contaminated by
                                                              removal; eliminates risk of lead
                           lead from paint
                                                              contamination
                           Cabin 54 – Soil erosion into
Soil Resources                                                Cabin 54 – Localized, short term
                           channel; small amount of
                                                              increase in erosion during removal;
                           contamination from asbestos over
                                                              eliminates risk of asbestos
                           a long time
                                                              contamination
                                                              Both cabins – other cabin owners
                           Both cabins – health and safety
                                                              emotionally impacted due to loss of
                           concerns due to deterioration;
Social/Economic                                               “friends and neighbors”; improved
                           diminished attractiveness of area
                                                              birding and hiking areas after
                           for recretional enjoyment
                                                              rehabilitation
                           Both cabins – No effect, historic Both cabins – No effect, historic
Heritage Resources
                           structures will remain             structures will remain
                           Both cabins – loss of habitat,
                           reduced forage, reduced
                           recruitment
                           Cabin 7 – If lead reaches stream –
                           could adversly affect wildlife and
                                                              Both cabins – increased availability
                           algae
Wildlife and Fishery                                          of habitat, increased forage
                           Cabin 54 – failure of retaining
Resources                                                     availability; some sedimentation
                           wall would reduce abundance or
                                                              into creek until revegetated
                           mortality of aquatic species and
                           habitat; loss/modification of
                           aquatic and riparian habitats;
                           reduced aquatic prey base,
                           asbestos contamination




8                                 Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF
Chapter 3 - Environmental Consequences
This section summarizes the physical, biological, social and economic environments of the
affected project area and the potential changes to those environments due to implementation of
the alternatives. It also presents the scientific and analytical basis for the comparison of
alternatives presented in the chart above.


Scenery Management
Affected Environment

Scenic quality is important to National Forest visitors who come to the Tonto National
Forest primarily for natural-appearing landscapes. To protect scenic quality it is important
that human-built structures and associated activities on the forest harmonize with the
landscape whenever possible. In the development of the Tonto National Forest Land and
Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) in 1985, an inventory of the forest’s visual
resources determined the Visual Quality Objectives (VQOs) for all forest land areas. The
Visual Management System (VMS) was used to derive VQOs from a combination of
three factors: (1) the variation of a landscape; (2) the level of concern visitors have for
scenic quality while viewing the landscape from certain areas or routes; and (3) the
distance viewers are from the landscape or a feature on the landscape, such as a road. The
VQOs establish minimum acceptable thresholds for landscape alterations from an
otherwise natural-appearing forest landscape. For example, areas with a “retention” VQO
are expected to retain a natural appearance; areas with a “partial retention” VQO may
have some alterations, but they remain subordinate to the characteristic landscape; areas
with a “modification” VQO can have alterations that do not appear natural.

The U.S. Forest Service has permitted private cabins, referred to as recreation residences,
on National Forest lands since 1915. The objective of the program was to encourage city-
dwellers to enjoy the recently established National Forests. On the Tonto National Forest,
many of these recreation residences were permitted and constructed beginning in the
1930s and 1940s. These residences were typically small, simple, rustic wood structures.

Over the following decades, many of the recreation residences were expanded, painted,
and modified in ways that did not always blend well with the environment or were more
appropriate for rural subdivisions than for National Forest lands. At the same time, the
population of central Arizona has grown dramatically, resulting in significantly more
visitors to Tonto National Forest, and increasing the importance of preserving the natural
character of these scenic public landscapes for everyone.

In addition to the Forest Plan, the Forest Service Manual and Forest Service Handbooks
provide direction for the appearance of recreation residences on National Forest lands.
The VQO established in the Forest Plan for the project area is Retention. This objective
requires man’s activities shall be “not evident” to the casual forest visitor. Obvious
human made alterations that contrast with natural form, line, color, and texture should be
reduced during operations or immediately after.



Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                  9
Chapter 3 – Environmental Consequence


The degree to which individual Camp Creek cabins blend with the surrounding landscape
varies. Small, simple, rustic wood structures that are consistent with the cabin theme,
harmonize more with the landscape than large, complex, ones with contemporary
materials In addition, structures and properties that are well kept contrast less with the
natural landscape than those that are not maintained.

Cabin #7 is constructed on a terrace above the creek. The structure is small although due
to complex, extensive modifications to the original design it is inconsistent with the rustic
cabin theme making it not harmonize with the natural landscape. In addition, the property
is poorly maintained, making it contrast with the natural setting.

Cabin #54 is a large 2-story structure perched above the creek by a mortared rock
retaining wall. The retaining wall was installed and fill added to expand the site, allowing
construction of the cabin, patio, and septic system. The scale of the cabin and building
pad, along with inconsistency with the rustic cabin theme, results in a structure that does
not harmonize with the natural landscape.

Environmental Consequences
Alternative 1: No Action
Direct and Indirect Effects

The disrepair and eventual deterioration of both cabins, along with possible failure of the
retaining wall and fill at cabin #54 would contrast with the surrounding landscape.

Alternative 2: Proposed Action
Direct and Indirect Effects

The removal of structures and rehabilitation of disturbed areas would eliminate the
contrasting elements, making the sites harmonize more with the natural landscape than
Alternative 1.

Cumulative Effects for Alternatives 1 and 2
Since establishment of the tract, visual resources have been directly affected by the
construction, occupancy, and maintenance of individual cabins and associated
infrastructure. A pattern of increased development has resulted in the accumulation of
contrasting elements, including recreation residences, roads, waterlines, utility corridors,
and introduction of non-native vegetation, to the natural landscape thereby reducing the
overall scenic quality of the area.

Public sensitivity towards the visual resources has also increased since establishment of
the recreation residence tract. Improved access to the area has resulted in increased
numbers of forest users drawn to this riparian setting.

The cumulative effects of development and public access would continue to influence the
visual resources associated with the recreation residence tract.

10                              Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF
                                                               Chapter 3 - Environmental Consequences




Water Resources
Affected Environment
The analysis area encompasses the Camp Creek watershed above Recreation Residence #54, an
area of about four square miles (see map Appendix B). Camp Creek is a perennial stream, with
perennial flow beginning near the upper end of the recreation residence area. Stream flow
increases substantially where discharge from Kentuck Spring enters the creek near Cabin 4.
Kentuck Spring provides water for domestic purposes to 28 recreation residences located
downstream of the spring including Cabins 7 and 54. Median monthly flows estimated from six
years of monthly stream flow measurements collected by the Tonto National Forest in Camp
Creek range from 0.05 cubic feet per second (cfs) in July to 0.28 cfs in January. These flows
result in a small live stream during baseflow periods that is typically 3-4 feet wide and 1-3 inches
deep with a few small pools scattered along the length of the perennial reach. The stream supports
fish (including two species of native fish), wildlife, riparian vegetation, and recreational uses of
the creek.

Stream channel cross sections were surveyed at both cabins. The stream channel was classified
according to the Rosgen Stream Classification system (Rosgen, 1996). Classifying streams
according to stream type permits interpretations about sensitivity to disturbance and potential for
recovery. The stream channel at both sites is a “B” type channel under this classification system.
Sensitivity of “B” stream types to disturbance varies depending on the dominant substrate type
(bedrock to silt/clay). All “B” stream types have excellent recovery potential.

Cabin 7 is situated on a constructed terrace above the main channel of Camp Creek on the east
side of the creek. Construction of the terrace resulted in the pushing of some fill material toward
the channel and floodplain in areas that would normally be occupied by riparian vegetation. Fill
material from Forest Road 24 also encroaches into the channel and floodplain on the west side of
the creek. The effect is to reduce the area potentially occupied by riparian vegetation and to cause
a small increase in the water surface elevation of flood flows in Camp Creek. The only riparian
species at the cabin site are a couple of mature sycamore trees. Other than these species the site is
dominated by junipers and other upland species. The channel type at Cabin 7 is a gravel-
dominated, B4 channel. These channel types are moderately sensitive to disturbance, but have
excellent recovery potential (Rosgen, 1996). Channel condition just upstream of Cabin 7 was
rated as impaired in a channel stability assessment completed in 2006. Channel stability is rated
as stable, impaired, or unstable under the assessment method used (Mason and Johnson, 1999).
The impaired rating resulted from unstable channel conditions due to scouring and deposition of
the bed and banks, low vegetative protection for the channel and floodplain, and moderate to high
bank erosion hazard. Scouring floods resulting from poor watershed conditions following the
Cave Creek Complex Fire were probably responsible for much of the observed scouring and
deposition apparent in the channel. Rapid recovery of riparian vegetation since these scouring
flows results in channel conditions that are probably more stable today than at the time the
assessment was completed.

Cabin 54 is situated above a narrow bedrock gorge. The cabin site is above the zone where
riparian recruitment would occur. The only riparian species at the elevation of the cabin are
sycamore. Juniper and other upland species are the dominant species. The channel type at this
cabin is a bedrock controlled B1 channel type that has very low sensitivity to disturbance and
excellent recovery potential. A rock and mortar retaining wall constructed at Cabin 54 allowed
the cabin site to be enlarged and filled to create a flat building surface so that a cabin, patio, and

Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                          11
Chapter 3 – Environmental Consequence


septic system could be constructed. The wall constricts the Camp Creek channel and increases the
water surface elevation of flood flows at the site. The site occupied by the wall and fill material
would potentially be an area where riparian species recruitment would occur during favorable
years.

Water quality standards applicable to Camp Creek include those intended to protect the
designated uses of aquatic and wildlife (warm water), full body contact, and fish consumption
(AAC Title 18, Ch 11, Art 1. R18-11-105).

Water quality in Camp Creek has not been sampled by the Arizona Department of Environmental
Quality (ADEQ) as part of its ambient water quality monitoring program. Many of the recreation
residences rely on septic systems for disposal of sewage and grey water. Many of these systems
are in close proximity to the stream. To assess the effects of these systems on water quality in
Camp Creek, the Forest Service collected water quality samples in April of 2006. Samples were
collected above the upper end of the recreation residence area, between the middle and lower sets
of recreation residences and below the end of the recreation residence area. Four samples were
collected to test for the presence of fecal Coliform at each of the stream sites. One sample was
collected to test Nitrate concentrations at each of the sites. All sample results were below state
standards.

A floodplain assessment of residences within the Camp Creek Recreational Residence Area was
completed as part of the Camp Creek Recreation Residence Continuum Determination
Environmental Assessment (USDA, 2009). The floodplain assessment found that Cabin 7 was
above the water surface elevation of the 100 year flood but that flood flows were affected to a
very small degree by fill material that encroached into the floodplain. The floodplain assessment
found that Cabin 54 was also above the water surface elevation of the 100 year flood but that the
retaining wall that protects the cabin site encroaches into the floodplain to a greater degree than
that of the fill material at Cabin 7.

Environmental Consequences
Alternative 1: No Action
Direct and Indirect Effects
Impacts to water resources would not be expected from the disrepair and eventual dilapidation of
Cabin 7 and its ancillary facilities. The cabin site is above the water surface elevation of the 100
year flood and is not expected to be affected by flood flows in Camp Creek. The constructed
terrace on which the cabin rests is also not expected to affect flows in the creek any more than
currently occurs from encroachment of fill material into the floodplain. The cabin site is above
the zone where recruitment of riparian vegetation would be expected. Increases in erosion and
sedimentation would also not be anticipated from eventual dilapidation of the cabin.

The cabin consists of construction materials and paint that include lead. Eventual decay of the
cabin would result in an accumulation of lead based paint into the soil. Erosion of this soil would
occur during storm events. Transport of this soil into Camp Creek would be unlikely to violate
water quality standards due to dilution by higher than normal stream flows during storm events.

Impacts to water resources stemming from the disrepair and eventual dilapidation of the Cabin 54
site could include blockage or further confinement of the channel of Camp Creek if the retaining


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wall and fill material behind the wall collapse into the channel. The cabin itself has tiles
containing asbestos which could eventually contaminate the soil. Water quality standards for
Camp Creek do not include a standard for asbestos. Erosion of fill material behind the retaining
wall could add sediment to and increase the turbidity of Camp Creek. Erosion of this material
could add further debris to the creek if portions of the dilapidated cabin also tumble into the
channel. The septic system would be removed or abandoned in accordance with ADEQ
requirements. Potential for discharge of effluent contaminated fill from the septic system into the
creek is small but could affect water quality in terms of E. coli and nitrates in Camp Creek. In the
long term riparian species could potentially occupy the area currently occupied by the retaining
wall and backfill behind the wall.

Alternative 2: Proposed Action
Direct and Indirect Effects
Under this alternative Cabin 7 structure and foundation (probably a cement slab) would be
removed but retaining walls and patio would be left in place. Removal of the cabin and its
foundation would expose unvegetated soils to short term increases in erosion but increases would
be negligible because of the small area exposed and the flatness of the slope. Total area of
disturbance at Cabin 7 would be less than one tenth acre. Impacts to the stream channel from
hauling demolition debris across the channel would be limited by following an existing trail that
was used for constructing the Kentuck Spring chlorination system. Boards placed across the
wetted channel would prevent people and equipment hauling away demolition debris from
coming into direct contact with the stream.

Disturbance to existing riparian vegetation and the bed and banks of the channel would not be
expected at Cabin 54 because creek crossings would not be necessary for removing demolition
debris. Removal of the retaining wall and fill material behind the retaining wall would reduce the
current constriction of flood flows created by the wall. Any soils remaining below flood
elevations would be exposed to erosion during flood events. Soils remaining after excavation of
fill are expected to be shallow due to predominance of bedrock at the site. Minor short term
increases in erosion would be expected from unvegetated soils above the floodplain until
revegetation provides erosion protection. Riparian vegetation could potentially occupy part of the
area currently occupied by the retaining wall and fill material. Total disturbed area at Cabin 54
would be less than one sixth acre.

Cumulative Effects for Alternatives 1 and 2
Past, present, proposed, and reasonably foreseeable activities were reviewed to determine
cumulative effects to water resources. Past activities include: Cave Creek Complex fire (2005),
post fire flood events, recreation activities, St. Clair grazing allotment. Current activities include:
Forest Road 24, Forest Road 483, Western Area Power Authority power line, Cartwright grazing
allotment, and recreation use. Reasonable foreseeable future actions include increased
recreational use. Watershed conditions have been recovering from the Cave Creek Complex fire
and the flooding that occurred following the fire. Watershed and stream channel vegetation
conditions have improved since these events resulting in reduced runoff and improved channel
stability. Watershed conditions have also improved on the St. Clair Allotment since it was closed
to grazing. The Cartwright Allotment is under improved management and cattle numbers have
been vastly reduced from historic highs resulting in increased ground cover and improved soil


Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                      13
Chapter 3 – Environmental Consequence


conditions. Ongoing effects from FR 24 and 483, and the Western Area Power Authority
powerline result in delivery of small amounts of sediment to Camp Creek. Improving watershed
conditions from the activities above combined with the ongoing small impacts from other
activities and the small short-term effect and net long term benefit from the alternatives in this
assessment are not likely to result in impacts that are cumulatively significant

The effects associated with this alternative, along with past, present and reasonably foreseeable
activities, are not expected to result in cumulatively significant effects.


Soil Resources
Affected Environment
The dominant soils in the area affected by the two cabins are formed from alluvium from Camp
Creek. Cabin #7 is on an alluvial terrace above the main channel and above the 100 year flood
flow. The soils are more stable and better developed than soils directly along the channel. The
slope behind the cabin grades into stable, well-developed upland soils. The cabin site is further
stabilized by a low retaining wall which would remain in place. Cabin #7 contains lead paint
(Allen Environmental, 2010). Cabin #54 sits on fill material. The cabin itself has tiles containing
asbestos. The fill material likely rests on bedrock but it is possible that some shallow native soil
occurs under the fill in places. The fill is held in place by a retaining wall. The cabin itself is
above the 100 year flood but the retaining wall is within the 100 flood plain and is subject to
damaging flows.

Environmental Consequences
Direct and Indirect Effects
Alternative 1: No Action

Cabin # 7 – The impacts to soil erosion, from allowing Cabin #7 to fall into disrepair and
eventual dilapidation, would be relatively minor. The soils are stable and are above the 100 year
flood flow. The soils, however, would likely be contaminated by lead from paint on and in the
cabin. The contamination would be localized to the cabin area and may not occur in high
concentrations overall but could reach high levels in the drip zone, the six foot zone around the
structure (Soil and Lead, Brown University).

Cabin #54 - Allowing Cabin #54 and related structures to fall into disrepair and eventual
dilapidation, could result in the retaining wall collapsing and a large amount of soil eroding into
Camp Creek. A small amount of asbestos from the tiles could eventually reach the soil. This
would likely be a small amount and it would take a long time to contaminate the soil.

Alternative 2: Proposed Action
Under this alternative short-term disturbance to soils would occur.

Cabin # 7 – Removing Cabin #7 could result in minor impacts to soils during removal of the
structures and a possible small increase in erosion to exposed soils until the site becomes re-
vegetated. Leaving the small retaining wall in place would also help reduce erosion. Once the site
stabilizes the long-term erosion risk is low. Removal of the cabin would eliminate the risk of soil
contamination from lead since this material would be removed by following EPA guidelines.

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                                                               Chapter 3 - Environmental Consequences




Cabin # 54 – The retaining wall and fill material would be removed from site and the area re-
contoured. This treatment would likely result in a localized, short-term increase in the risk of
erosion. If it is found that the fill material rests directly on bedrock there would be no on-site
erosion. If native soil occurs under the fill on this steep grade there would be risk of erosion. If
this occurs, erosion control on the slope would be needed. Once the site becomes re-vegetated
and stabilized, the long-term risk of erosion should similar to the current risk. Removal of the
cabin would eliminate the small risk of soil contamination from asbestos since this material
would be removed by following EPA guidelines.

Cumulative Effects for Alternatives 1 and 2
Past, present, proposed and reasonably foreseeable activities were reviewed to determine
cumulative effects to water resources. Past activities include: Cave Creek Complex fire (2005),
post fire flood events, recreation activities, St. Clair grazing allotment. Current activities include:
Forest Road 24, Forest Road 483, Western Area Power Authority power line, Cartwright grazing
allotment, and recreation use. Reasonable foreseeable future actions includes increased
recreational use. The Cave Creek Complex fire has had negative effects in the past due to
increased erosion but soil conditions have stabilized in the past few years and erosion rates due to
fire effects are near pre-fire levels. The St. Clair Allotment has been closed to grazing for many
years resulting in improved soil conditions. The Cartwright Allotment is under improved
management and cattle numbers have been vastly reduced from historic highs resulting in
increased ground cover and improved soil conditions. But improvement in some areas, ongoing
small impacts from other activities combined with the small short-term effect and net long term
benefit from these alternatives are not likely to result in impacts that are cumulatively significant.
The effects associated with this alternative are not expected to result in cumulatively significant
effects.


Social and Economic Analysis
Affected Environment
Analysis Area
The social and economic effects analysis attempts to identify potential effects that Forest Service
management may have on local, county, and regional economic systems and on people using the
natural resources the Tonto NF provides. In particular, would changes in the number of recreation
cabins be large enough or significant enough to cause measurable economic changes? Is the
economy of the local area diverse enough and robust enough that the proposed changes will be
insignificant or will they be felt in very specific segments of the local economy? Are any minority
populations, low-income populations, or Indian tribes present in the area affected by the action,
and if so, are there disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on
these populations?

This analysis uses Maricopa County as the primary unit of analysis for social and economic data.
Secondary demographic, economic, and social data have been drawn from readily available
sources including the U.S. Census Bureau and the Minnesota IMPLAN1 Group.


1
 IMPLAN (IMpact analysis for PLANing, Minnesota IMPLAN Group, Inc.) is a regional
economic impact analysis system, that uses county-level, input-output data to determine the

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Chapter 3 – Environmental Consequence


Demographics

Table 1 shows the population growth trends and changes between 1980 and 2000, as well as
projected population growth through 2030. The data suggest that population growth rates at the
county and State level are expected to continue to increase, peaking between 2010 and 2020
before declining by 2030. Maricopa County is projected to continue its accelerated growth,
outpacing the State.

Table 1. 1980 to 2030 Decennial Population & Projections for County & State
                                                    Projected Projected Projected
    Location                1980             1990             2000
                                                      2010        2020           2030
 Maricopa Co. 1,509,052 2,122,101 3,072,149          3,709,566   4,516,090     5,390,785
 Arizona         2,718,215 3,665,228 5,130,632       6,145,108   7,363,604     8,621,114
                              1980 to 2030 Percent Change
                             1980 to     1990 to     2000 to     2010 to       2020 to
 Location          ------
                              1990        2000        2010        2020           2030
 Maricopa Co.      ------      41%        45%         21%          22%           19%
 Arizona           ------      35%        40%         20%          20%           17%
Source: Arizona Department of Commerce – Arizona County Population Projections: 1997-2050

Maricopa County is the largest in total land area within the area of assessment with 9,224 square
miles. Population density in Maricopa County is several times greater than any other county in
the state (333 per sq. mi.) primarily due to the Phoenix metropolitan area. In Maricopa County,
city populations range from a high of 1,321,045 in Phoenix to 158,625 in Tempe as of 2000.

Race and Ethnic Distribution
The past fifty or sixty years have seen only moderate racial diversification in the state. While the
Hispanic population of Arizona has increased from 20 percent to 25 percent of the total
population since 1940, African Americans, despite an especially rapid influx in the two decades
following WWII and an average population growth rate of 49 percent per decade, remained static
at 3 percent of the population in 2000, only 0.1 percent above their relative numbers in 1940
(U.S. Census Bureau, 2005). 2

Between 1940 and 2005, the Native American population in Arizona grew from 44,076 in 1940,
to 275,321 in 2005. During that same time, the percentage of Native Americans as part of
Arizona’s total population declined from 11 percent in 1940 to 4.7 percent in 2005(U.S. Census


extent to which these activities (such as livestock grazing) contribute to the local economy. Input-
output analysis is an economist’s tool that traces linkages among the structural parts of an
economy and calculates the employment, income, and output effects resulting from a direct
impact on the economy.


2
    The specific numbers for these historical comparisons are found at http://www.census.gov/population/documentation/twps0056/ in
the U.S. Census Bureau website (Table 17) and are juxtaposed against the Census 2000 findings.



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Bureau, 2005). Although the percentage of Native Americans in the Arizona population has
decreased, the absolute number is now greater than six times the 1940 figure. What makes the
percentage appear to decrease is the fact that Arizona’s total population has grown from 499,261,
in 1940, to an estimate of more than 6,000,000, in 2006 (Combined U.S. Census 1940 through
2000, and American Communities Survey for 2005 figures).

The ethnicity and racial composition and distribution do not demonstrate a significant difference
when compared to the state as a whole. Table 2 illustrates ABV Survey data from census blocks
that encompass the Tonto NF boundary. For the analysis area, the Hispanic population comprises
of 10 percent of the total population versus 90 percent for non-Hispanic. An analysis of the racial
grouping shows that the White category remains the predominant group at 90 percent followed by
the American Indian population at 4 percent.



Table 2. Ethnic and Racial Composition
 2000                 Ethnicity                             Racial Group
                                                                Asian or
                    Non-                    African American                      Multiple
                            Hispanic White                       Pacific   Other           Total
  Analysis Area




                  Hispanic                 American Indian                          Race
                                                                Islander
                   75,636    8,810 75,841    384      3,489        471     2,991 1,270 84,446
                     Ethnicity %
                                                  Racial Group percent Distribution
                     Distribution
                    90%       10%    90%     0%         4%         1%       4%      2%     100%



Camp Creek Recreation Residences (CCRR)
Many of the CCRR cabins have been occupied/owned by the same families for many years. In
2005, the Cave Creek Complex fire destroyed 11 of the 44 existing cabins. After the 2005 Cave
Creek Complex fire and in accordance with Forest Service policy and the Forest Plan, the Cave
Creek Recreation Residence Continuation Determination Environmental Assessment (CCRR
Continuation Determination EA) was developed. The decision for this project was signed in 2009
and it authorized the reissuance of 20-year permits for the CCRR cabins and rebuilding of the
burned cabins. However, 9 of the 11 owners with burned cabins have decided not to rebuild.
These decisions have both sadden and/or angered some of the remaining cabin owners. They feel
the loss of these cabins and in particular the owners which reduces the attraction of the area much
like visiting a favorite family vacation spot only to find a portion of it permanently gone. The loss
of two more cabins is upsetting for many of the remaining owners. The cabin owners feel that the
loss of the cabins is reducing the value of the remaining cabins and diminishing their enjoyment
of the tract.

During the time frame between the Cave Creek Complex fire (2005) and the signing of the CCRR
Continuation Determination EA (2009), the cabin owners were dealing with implementation of
the Cabin User Fee Fairness Act (CUFFA). CUFFA established the base annual fee as 5% of the
appraised Market Value of the cabins which was higher than the fee they were paying. Due to the
length of time needed to complete the CCRR Continuation Determination EA and the calculation


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Chapter 3 – Environmental Consequence


of new fees established by CUFFA, some of the cabin owners became frustrated not knowing if
they would get a new 20 year permit or how much the annual fee would be. The CCRR
Continuation Determination EA was signed on July 21, 2009 authorizing the issuance of the new
20 year permits. In 2010, the final appraisal was accepted and implemented defining the new base
annual fee.

As part of the CCRR Continuation Determination Environmental Assessment (2009), Tonto NF
engineers calculated a general budget for removal of recreation residences and rehabilitation of
the lots. The engineer’s report assumed that nothing had yet been removed and that all lots
contained the same features. Lots with existing structures were estimated to cost permit holders
approximately $68,700 for the removal of all structures and to rehabilitate a lot (U.S. Forest
Service, 2009).

Environmental Consequences
Alternative 1 – No Action
Direct and Indirect Effects
Under this alternative the cabins would be left in place to deteriorate. Cabin 7 has lead based
paint and Cabin 54 has tiles with asbestos which could cause health concerns as they deteriorate
into the environment. The retaining wall that is failing could fall and create a safety hazard for
anyone recreating in the stream below the cabin and the cabins and owners downstream. The
deterioration of the standing cabins would diminish the enjoyment of the tract by other
recreational users and cabin owners due to the appearance of abandoned buildings and lots. The
deterioration of these two cabins over time may invite criminal behavior and vandalism.

Alternative 2 – Proposed Action
Direct and Indirect Effects
The removal of these cabins may have a negative emotional impact on the other cabin owners
while they are being removed and until vegetation becomes re-established on these sites, similar
to the feeling neighbors experienced when some owners chose not to rebuild following the loss of
their cabins in the 2005 Cave Creek Complex fire. The remaining cabin owners may feel a loss
like when a friend or long time neighbor moves away.

The removal of the cabins would not impact other recreational uses to the area. The sites would
be rehabilitated providing a natural forest environment for birding and hiking. Therefore, no
negative impacts or losses would occur for traditional recreational uses. There would be minimal
economic loss to the government due to no cabin fees from these two cabins.

Cumulative Effects for Alternatives 1 and 2
Past, present and reasonably foreseeable activities were reviewed to determine cumulative effects
to the social and economic environment. There would be negligible impact to the economic
environment because the home owners live nearby and do not contribute much to the local
economy (CCRRCD Environmental Assessment, 2009).




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                                                             Chapter 3 - Environmental Consequences




Environmental Justice
Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of
race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and
enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Toward attaining environmental
justice for all communities and persons in the United States, Executive Order 12898 (February
11, 1994) directed all Federal agencies to evaluate their proposed actions to determine the
potential for disproportionate adverse impacts to minority and low-income populations.

In the memorandum to heads of departments and agencies that accompanied Executive Order
12898, the President specifically recognized the importance of procedures under NEPA for
identifying and addressing environmental justice concerns. The memorandum states that “each
Federal agency shall analyze the environmental effects, including human health, economic and
social effects, of Federal actions, including effects on minority communities and low-income
communities, when such analysis is required by [NEPA].”

Potentially affected tribes have been consulted and effects considered on their rights and concerns
within the analysis of alternatives. American Indian populations would not be disproportionately
impacted under any alternative with avoidance of heritage resources, consideration of traditional
values, and reasonable access allowed through agreements, permits, and recognition of their
sovereignty and legal rights.

Neither of the alternatives would have a disproportionate affect on any minority or low-income
communities, as cabin removal decisions would not cause any adverse environmental effect to a
particular community.

All of the impacts considered have no potential to contribute incrementally toward cumulative
impacts on minority and low-income populations in Maricopa County because there are no
projects planned that would affect these populations. Therefore, any potential impacts to
environmental justice considerations would be relatively small and immeasurable.


Heritage Resources
Affected Environment
The historic Camp Creek Recreation Area (CCRRA) has been recognized as a Heritage resource
and has been assigned an inventory number of AR-02-12-01-1197. As such, it contains both the
current Recreation Residences and a number of lots that have been split, combined, abandoned or
never used. It is comprised of 44 residential lots (of which 33 are currently permitted) located
along several reaches of Camp Creek and its tributaries Grapevine Creek and Columbine Creek
northeast of Carefree, accessed by Forest Road 24. It is divided into five lot clusters usually
referred to as units: Upper (7 lots), Middle (10 lots), and Lower Camp Creek (18 occupied and 4
abandoned but archaeologically recognizable lots, all but one of which are located immediately
adjacent to the creek), and the Grapevine (4 lots) and Columbine (5 lots) units, both located west
of FR24. Originally conceived as a mixed use recreation area with a combination of residential,
camping and day use facilities it was initiated (as far as extant records can attest) sometime prior
to 1920 (Wood 2007). It was originally platted for 31 residential lots, 6 or so picnic areas and
about 20 campsites, with plans for a “Kiwanis Clubhouse” and tennis court, neither of which was
apparently ever built. Sometime prior to 1932 a commercial operation had been added to the little
seasonal community in the form of a store and gas station in Lot 59. Also during the 1930s the


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Chapter 3 – Environmental Consequence


non-residential recreational use disappeared. During this time the CCRRA came to benefit from
several Depression Era public works programs that contributed so much to the creation and
enhancement of infrastructure throughout the National Forests of Arizona (Collins, 1999). A
water system was built, probably by the Works Progress Projects Administration (WPA), piping
water from Kentuck Spring all the way down to the Lower Camp Creek unit. The WPA also built
their famous “flyproof” toilets for nearly every one of the lots occupied during that period, as part
of the Community Sanitation Project that they inherited from the Civil Works Administration
(Collins, 1999). About a dozen of these are still standing in the CCRRA, more or less intact.
Surprisingly few of the 2.3 million such toilets built in the U.S. between 1933 and 1941 are still
extant; the CCRRA may have one of the largest remaining concentrations. Several drainage and
erosion control structures along the main access road (FR 24) appear to have been WPA-built as
well, part of the improvements they are known to have made to the road south of the CCRRA,
possibly as part of the “Mines to Markets” road program. Finally, the Civilian Conservation
Corps (CCC) built erosion control walls along portions of Camp Creek and flow control weirs on
Columbine Creek.

Despite a small “building boom” in the postwar 1940s, the availability of reliable transportation
and better roads across the Forest had rendered the recreational residence concept in this area,
virtually on the outskirts of Phoenix, obsolete. From that point on the CCRRA began a
transformation from a seasonal recreational area to a residential community, though there are
indications that this transformation was already well underway during the 1930s.

Over the decades since then, a number of lots have been abandoned or lost to flooding and a
number have been added, including nine on the west side of the road, away from Camp Creek
itself (the Grapevine and Columbine units). Likewise, a number of the original residences have
been replaced; district records indicate that the oldest residence still under permit was built in
1942, though residents claim that at least portions of several of them go back as far as 1915.
However, the residences have all been added to and modified in many ways especially as they
have been adapted to serve as what amounts to permanent, full time residences by many of their
owners. The residents have also put up a variety of rock walls and earthworks to protect their
houses from flooding and many of them have also added terraced and bordered gardens filled
with all manner of non-native vegetation. The introduction of so many non-native plants was, in
fact, transforming the original natural setting of the Sonoran Desert riparian zone in which most
of the lots are located into something quite different from what it was originally. However, the
district has initiated a program to remove non-natives from the entire tract to return its vegetative
setting to something much closer to what would be expected in a Sonoran Desert riparian area.

A detailed occupation history for the CCRRA is available in the National Register Eligibility
report (Wood 2007) prepared for this analysis, at least to the extent that information is available.

The CCRRA tract has been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places using
a method of evaluation that addresses both the tract as a whole and the individual elements,
including residential structures, outbuildings, terrain modifications, roads and water systems
(Wood, 2007).

A total of about 60 features (including building foundations preserved as archaeological sites) out
of the more than 299 historic and recent features currently known within the CCRRA can be
considered as contributing the eligibility of the tract for inclusion in the National Register of
Historic Places. Those contributing elements potentially affected by this decision include:


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                                                               Chapter 3 - Environmental Consequences



       3 Residential structures (Lots 9, 15, and 28)
       1 garage converted to residential use (Lot 47)
       11 WPA-built toilets
       The Kentuck Spring water system, in its entirety (springbox, pipeline, trestles, and
       hydrants)
       4 cisterns and other surface structures of the Grapevine Springs water system
       CCC-built retaining walls and weirs in Lots 1, 2, 4, 5, 41, 42, 47, and 28 and along
       Columbine Creek
The improvements on Lots 7 and 54, with the exception of the hydrant on lot 7 and the WPA
toilet on Lot 54, have been determined to be non-contributing elements to National Register
character of the CCRRA tract (Wood, 2007). The hydrant and WPA toilet are both elements that
contribute to the National Register eligibility of the CCRRA tract as a whole and have inherent
significance and integrity in addition to their association with the residences.

Environmental Consequences
Impacts to Heritage resources, especially archaeological and architectural sites, can generally be
defined as anything that results in the removal of, displacement of, or damage to structural
features, artifacts, or stratigraphic deposits of cultural material, though in the case of the CCRRA,
the primary emphasis is necessarily on structural features. In the case of historic properties that
are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, impacts can also include alterations of a
property’s setting or context. Any such action is seen as having an effect on the integrity and
eligibility of the property. If an activity or undertaking alters – directly or indirectly, immediately
or in the foreseeable future – any of the characteristics that qualify a property for inclusion in the
National Register in such a manner that would diminish the integrity of the property’s location,
design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling or association with significant historic events, the
impact is termed an Adverse Effect under the National Historic Preservation Act, as defined at 36
CFR 800.5(a) 1. The loss or removal of non-contributing elements of a property, however, is not
considered to be an Adverse Effect so long as the overall character of the property remains intact.

Given the non-renewable nature of all Heritage resources, especially archaeological and historic
sites any portion of them that has been damaged or removed permanently diminishes their
cultural and scientific value. Therefore, all effects to Heritage properties are considered
cumulative.



Alternative 1: No Action
Direct and Indirect Effects
Leaving the existing structures in place would have no effect on the National Register-eligible
characteristics of the tract.

Cumulative Effects



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Chapter 3 – Environmental Consequence


Leaving the current structures in place but allowing them to deteriorate would add to the
cumulative effect of attrition reducing the number of standing structures making up the tract, but
the National Register eligibility of the property would remain largely intact since the particular
structures in question did not contribute to that eligibility.

Alternative 2: Proposed Action
Direct and Indirect Effects
This alternative would entail the removal of all above-ground features associated with the
residences on Lots 7 and 54, with the exception of the WPA-built toilet on Lot 54 and the rock
walls and water hydrant on Lot 7. Removal of these structures would have no effect on the
National Register-eligible character of the tract as a whole, particularly since those elements
present on those lots that have been determined to contribute to the tract’s eligibility would
remain in place.

Cumulative Effects
Removing the current structures would add to the cumulative effect of attrition reducing the
number of standing structures making up the tract, but the National Register eligibility of the
property would remain largely intact since the particular structures in question did not contribute
to that eligibility, much of which would remain even if the majority of current residences are
removed.


Wildlife and Fisheries
Affected Environment
Camp Creek provides riparian and aquatic habitats for a variety of wildlife and fish species.
Transition areas exist between the riparian zones and uplands and provide habitat for a variety of
wildlife species. This analysis will identify habitats available to terrestrial and aquatic wildlife.
Direct and indirect affects to habitats and wildlife under implementation of Alternative 1 and
Alternative 2 will be disclosed and analyzed. Acreage estimates for riparian vegetation have been
calculated and are displayed in Table 2 with defined vegetative zones included. Habitat acreage
displaced or affected under current management, will be disclosed.

The upper riparian zone is defined as the zone of riparian vegetation which is dominated by
upland species that occur in greater density and stature due to their proximity and access to water.

The intermediate riparian zone is the vegetative zone below the upper riparian zone. For this
project analyses, both upper and intermediate zones have been combined into the “upper riparian/
upland” zone. Arizona sycamore is the most common tree within this zone and Freemont
cottonwood is present but less common. Other trees within this zone include juniper, velvet
mesquite and netleaf hackberry. The understory is dominated by shrub species including sugar
sumac, turbinella oak, Wright’s silk tassel, coffeeberry, catclaw mimosa, California buckthorn,
skunkbush and poison ivy.

The lower riparian zone lies below the intermediate riparian zone and adjacent to Camp Creek.
This zone will be referred to as the “lower riparian zone”. Common plant species encountered
within this zone are: yellow monkey flower, water bent grass, rabbit-foot grass, columbine,


22                                 Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF
                                                             Chapter 3 - Environmental Consequences




watercress, mint, rush, spikerush and sedges. Additionally, the adjacent floodplain supports many
other plant species including Arizona grape, verbena, snapdragon, and lima bean.

The portion of Camp Creek downstream of Kentuck Spring to approximately one-quarter mile
downstream of the recreation residences provides perennial water throughout the year. The 1.5
mile portion of Camp Creek upstream of Kentuck Spring is an intermittent stream, with portions
of perennial water. Grapevine and Columbine Spring are each within tributaries of Camp Creek.
Columbine tributary is approximately 0.25 miles long and Grapevine spring is located
approximately 0.25 mile west of Grapevine tributaries confluence with Camp Creek. Grapevine
and Columbine tributaries typically have intermittent flows, depending upon the time of year.

Framework

The Tonto National Forest Plan identifies management direction for wildlife and fish as follows,
“Wildlife and fish habitat elements will be recognized in all resource planning and management
activities to assure coordination that provides for species diversity and greater wildlife and fish
populations through improvement of habitat. Ensure that fish and wildlife habitats are managed to
maintain viable populations of existing native vertebrate species” (U.S. Forest Service, 1985, p 20
of 257).

Management prescriptions within the Tonto National Forest Plan are identified as “management
practices selected and scheduled for application on a specific area to attain multiple use and other
goals and objectives [36 CFR 219.3(u)]” (USDA 1985, p 35 of 257).

Three Management Prescriptions from the Tonto National Forest Plan where included within this
document because the prescriptions directly relate to aquatic and terrestrial wildlife resources
within the project area:

Locate and survey all potential Gila Topminnow sites. Where feasible stock sites, monitor
success, and restock if necessary (USDA 1985).

    -Maintain a minimum of 30% effective ground cover for watershed protection and forage
    production, especially in primary wildlife forage producing areas. Where less than 30%
    exists, it will be the management goal to obtain a minimum of 30% effective ground cover
    (USDA 1985, p 40 of 257).
    -Rehabilitate and maintain, through improved management practices, mixed broad leaf
    riparian to achieve 80% of the potential overstory crown coverage. Natural regeneration is
    anticipated to achieve most of this goal. Artificial regeneration may be necessary in some
    areas (USDA 1985, p41 of 257).
The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended is Federal legislation that is intended to provide
a means to conserve the ecosystems upon which endangered and threatened species depend and
provide programs for the conservation of those species, thus preventing extinction of those plants
and animals. The Gila topminnow is listed as endangered and was stocked in Camp Creek in July
1975. Gila topminnows were reported extirpated in 1985. No topminnows have been found in
Camp Creek during surveys after 1985. The Gila Topminnow Provisional Extirpation Report
recommends restocking of Camp Creek, although flooding of Camp Creek has been recognized
as limiting the ability of the species to remain established (Weedman, et al., 1997).




Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                   23
Chapter 3 – Environmental Consequence


The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-711); Executive Order 13186 was signed into law
by President Clinton on January 10, 2001. Federal agencies taking actions that have, or are likely
to have, a measurable negative effect on migratory bird populations are directed to develop and
implement, within 2 years, a Memorandum of Understanding with the Fish and Wildlife Service
that shall promote the conservation of migratory bird populations. Priority migratory bird species
are documented by established plans such as Partners in Flight (PIF) North American Landbird
Conservation Plan which identified a watch list of species that are moderately abundant or
widespread with declines or high threats, and those species listed on 50 CFR 17.11 (Rich et al.
2004).

Implementation of the proposed project would not likely impact migratory bird species or their
habitat within the Analysis Area because the project is small in scale, minimal vegetation would
be removed, and the action would likely have no measurable effect on migratory bird populations
within the Analysis Area.

Management Indicator Species

The Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) for the Tonto National Forest (Tonto NF),
adopted in 1985, identified thirty management indicator species (MIS). The reason these species
were selected as MIS is described in the Environmental Impact Statement, Tonto National Forest
Plan, 1985. The objective was to select species which would indicate successional stages of each
vegetation type and serve as an indicator for detecting major habitat changes (U.S. Forest Service,
1985, p. 211). A forest level MIS report was prepared in 2002 and updated in 2005. Specifics on
trends for MIS species across the forest can be found in that report. All thirty MIS were
considered for the analysis (see Forest MIS Report in Project Record); however, because of
habitat (vegetation) types found within the project area, only eight MIS species were identified as
possibly occupying the analysis area. In addition, most, if not all, of the species that represent the
woodland, ponderosa pine, mixed conifer, and chaparral vegetation types will not be analyzed
due to the lack of affects to these community types because the vegetation does not occur within
the project area or within the Analysis Area (defined below).

Implementation of this project is not likely to have significant impacts to MIS habitat and MIS
species because the project is small in scale, vegetation which may be removed is minimal, and
these actions are not likely to contribute to a downward trend in MIS habitat or species.

Project Area and Analysis Area
The Project Area is defined as the actual footprint or ground disturbance which may take place
throughout the life of this project. The wildlife and fish resource analysis area is defined as the
portion of Camp Creek from Kentuck Spring, to approximately one-quarter mile downstream of
the recreation residences. This analysis area was chosen due to the fact that water is a medium
which is capable of carrying debris and/ or substances. This analysis area incorporates the
perennial portion of Camp Creek and includes some upland habitat approximately 100 meters in
either direction (buffer) from the water’s edge.

Species Background

Species considered for this analysis were identified as those that have been documented within or
near the project area, or species that could utilize available habitat or have in the past. Species
effects will be presented by primary habitat group, which include aquatic, riparian, upland or in


24                                 Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF
                                                           Chapter 3 - Environmental Consequences




combination and also contains a summary of occurrence data and effects determinations which
were reached during analysis of both the No Action Alternative and Alternative 2.

The Tonto Forest Plan Management Indicator Species, Tonto National Forest Sensitive Species
List, Partners in Flight North American Land Bird Conservation Plan, and Arizona Game and
Fish Department Heritage Data Base were utilized to compile the list of species. The list is
intended to emphasize obligate riparian species and species that may occupy the riparian and
upland habitats within the project area, with special attention paid to species of biological
concern. The compliment of species, especially birds, is very conservative.




Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                 25
Chapter 3 – Environmental Consequence



Table 1. Special Status Species Evaluated in the Camp Creek Recreation Residence
Removal Analysis with effects determinations by Alternatives.
Common                                                           Alt 1 Effects  Alt 2 Effects
               Species          Status Occurrence Habitat
Name                                                             Determinations Determinations
              Poeciliopsis
Gila
              occidentalis      E, WC H                A         No Effect         No Effect
Topminnow
              occidentalis
              Agosia
Longfin Dace                    S        Y             A         May Impact        May Impact
              chrysogaster
Common        Buteogallus       S, WC,
                                       Y               R         May Impact        No Impact
Black Hawk anthracinus          MIS
Abert’s
              Pipilo aberti     S        Y             R         May Impact        No Impact
Towhee
Western Red Lasiurus
                                S        H             R         May Impact        No Impact
Bat           blossevillii
Townsend’s Corynorhinus
                                SC,S     H             U         May Impact        No Impact
Big-eared Bat townsendii
Lowland       Rana              SC,S,
                                      H                A         May Impact        No Impact
Leopard Frog yavapaiensis       WC

Key:
S = Regional Forester’s Sensitive Species List.
SC = Species of Concern Species of Concern. The terms "Species of Concern" or "Species at
Risk" should be considered as terms-of-art that describe the entire realm of taxa whose
conservation status may be of concern to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, but neither term has
official status (currently all former C2 species).
WC= Wildlife of Special Concern as determined by the Arizona Game and Fish Department
MIS= Management Indicator Species as determined by the Tonto NF MIS document 2005.
E = Federally Listed as Endangered, Under Endangered Species Act
Y = Species is known to occur within or near project area.
H = Habitat for the species occurs within the project area.
A = Species primarily requires aquatic habitat.
R = Species primarily requires riparian habitat.
U = Species primarily requires upland habitat.
The primary risk factor considered for wildlife and aquatic resources is acreage of riparian and
upland habitats directly or indirectly affected by recreation residences and associated
infrastructure. Other risk factors considered for terrestrial and aquatic resources are the effects
that residences and associated infrastructure may have upon natural stream function.

See Wildlife Specialist Report for species evaluations and effects determinations.




26                                  Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF
Appendix




Table 2. Recreation Residence 57 and 7 Tracts and Road Acreage Estimates within Lower
Riparian and Upper Riparian / Upland Zones.


Residence
                    Lower Riparian Zone (Acres)               Upper Riparian / Upland (Acres)
Tract/Road

Cabin #54                             0.031                                   0.095

Cabin #7                              0.04                                    0.12

TOTAL                              0.071 acres                             0.215 acres


Environmental Consequences
No Action – Alternative 1
Direct & Indirect Effects
Cabin # 7

In general, the effects described as a result of Alternative 1 (No Action), are considered “long
term” (10 years or more). A direct long term effect of implementation of this Alternative would
be the continued loss of approximately 0.04 acres of lower riparian zone and 0.12 acres of upper
riparian / upland zone wildlife habitat. This has directly affected riparian and upland terrestrial
wildlife species by reducing available forage, and eliminating recruitment of riparian plant
species (direct displacement by the existing structure). A report recently identified that cabin # 7
contains unsafe levels of lead paint (Moots, 2010). Over time, cabin # 7 may structurally fail and
lead paint may eventually delaminate and remain on site either on structure or as surface litter.
Once paint is no longer attached to cabin surfaces, it is more susceptible to transport into Camp
Creek by wind or surface flows from light or heavy rain events. According to the Tonto Forest
Hydrologist specialist report, cabin debris from cabin # 7 is very unlikely to reach stream channel
in a 100 year flood event. In the highly unlikely scenario that contaminated material reaches
water way, direct effects to wildlife and fish resources may occur. Lead has been shown to
adversely affect fish, amphibians, invertebrates, and algae in a number of ways. Effects to fish
(Longfin Dace) can include muscular and neurological degeneration and destruction, growth
inhibition, mortality, reproductive problems, and paralysis (Eisler, 1988a). Such an event would
likely have negative effects on Forest Sensitive fish (Longfin Dace) and amphibians (Lowland
Leopard Frog) within the perennial portion of Camp Creek. Indirect long term effects upon
implementation of this Alternative may include reduction in prey species abundance, as a result
of reduced available habitat, low potential for lead poisoning, and the low possibility of excess
debris within Camp Creek.

Cabin # 54

Direct long term effects for this Alternative would be the continued loss of approximately 0.031
acres of lower riparian zone and 0.95 acres of upper riparian / upland zone wildlife habitat (table
2). Other direct effects to wildlife habitat would be similar to that of cabin # 7 described above,
with the exception of unsafe levels of lead which were not found within cabin # 54. However,



Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                   27
Chapter 3 – Environmental Consequence



asbestos tiles were found within cabin # 54. A report recently identified that cabin # 54 contains
unsafe levels of asbestos (Moots, 2010).

Concern about direct and indirect long term effects from waste systems and asbestos tiles located
in cabin # 54 would continue under this Alternative. Asbestos has been shown to significantly
affect cyprinodontid growth, reproductive success, and egg viability when the substance is
introduced to the aquatic environment in unnatural levels (Belanger, 1990). Mammals are also
known to be negatively affected by asbestos. A study conducted by the International Agency for
Cancer Research (IARC) revealed that sufficient evidence shows that asbestos is a known
carcinogen in humans. These findings are also supported by carcinogenicity studies in
experimental animals. All commercial forms of asbestos have been shown to cause cancer in
multiple species by various exposure routes (IARC, 1987). Direct effects to wildlife (terrestrial
and aquatic) are a possibility from implementation of this alternative. Effects to fish (Longfin
Dace) and amphibians (Lowland Leopard Frog) from asbestos exposure may include: reduced
reproductive capability in fish, reduced egg viability, and bioaccumulation in fish and amphibian
species within Camp Creek. Bioaccumulation of asbestos in fish may have indirect effects to
animals which prey on fish and amphibian species within Camp Creek.

Additionally, cabin #54 has a septic system that is contained by a masonry retaining wall that
Tonto Forest engineers have identified as at risk. The wall is currently bulging at the base, and is
fractured. Without some corrective action, Forest engineers have concerns the wall may fail and
the septic system which is currently contained, may fall into Camp Creek. Direct effects of such
an event may include reduced abundance or mortality of aquatic species due to impacts to water
quality, loss of available aquatic habitat from direct displacement by the septic tank and
associated infrastructure and displacement of habitat by retaining wall debris.

Additionally, there would be loss / modification of aquatic and riparian habitats due to excessive
siltation and sedimentation from materials that currently surround the underground septic system.
Failure of the retaining wall and septic system would likely have negative long term indirect
effects on aquatic species (Longfin Dace and Lowland Leopard Frog) and associated habitats
downstream of Cabin # 54. Indirect effects may include asbestos exposure to the aquatic and
terrestrial ecosystem downstream of cabin # 54, reduced aquatic prey base due to septic/ asbestos
effects on water quality, and ingestion of contaminated water resources and or prey base by
wildlife within Camp Creek.



Alternative 2 - The Proposed Action
Direct and Indirect Effects


Cabin # 7
A direct effect of implementation of this Alternative would be the gain of approximately 0.04
acres of lower riparian zone and 0.12 acres of upper riparian / upland zone compared to the
existing condition. This may directly affect riparian and upland terrestrial wildlife species through
increased availability of habitat, increased forage availability and increased recruitment of
riparian vegetation. Short term sedimentation may occur downstream of cabin # 7 until area is
naturalized and herbaceous and woody recruitment increases ground cover. Indirect effects from



28                                 Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF
Appendix




implementation of this Alternative are expected to be short term and may include downstream
sedimentation and siltation until ground cover is re established.



Cabin # 54

A direct effect of implementation of this Alternative would be gain of approximately 0.031 acres
of lower riparian zone and 0.095 acres of upper riparian / upland zone compared to the existing
condition. This may directly affect riparian and upland wildlife species through increased
availability of habitat, increased forage availability. Until vegetation was re-established in areas
where cabin # 54 and associated infrastructure once existed, some short term sedimentation into
Camp Creek would likely occur during removal operations and during future flooding events.
Engineering techniques described below would greatly reduce the sediment effects upon Camp
Creek. Sediment effects are expected to be short term since the area would be rehabilitated and
naturalized. A bedrock feature exists on the southern side of cabin # 54, and extends into Camp
Creek below the septic system. The bedrock feature would greatly reduce sedimentation upon
septic and cabin removal because material which currently surrounds the septic system, would be
removed and only bedrock below would remain.

Debris is not expected to enter Camp Creek during removal operations due to engineering
techniques which would be utilized such as shoring, ground covering, tarps, or possible coffer
dam. Camp Creek would be best protected from debris if a temporary coffer dam was placed just
upstream of failing wall. Before removal of retaining wall begins, native fish and amphibians
would be removed and relocated by Forest Service personnel upstream or downstream to prevent
mortality or injury during operation. Block nets would be utilized to prevent upstream or
downstream movement by aquatic species into project area. Water from Camp Creek would
collect upstream of coffer dam and would then be pumped downstream of failing wall to limit
sediment and other debris from entering waterway. During the coffer dam operation,
approximately 100ft of Camp Creek would not have flowing water due to diversion system. Once
removal operations have been completed, crews would clean up site to extent practical and
discontinue water diversion, remove coffer dam, and Forest Service personnel would remove
block nets. The Lime Creek Fish Barrier project conducted from October 18th 2010 to November
4th 2010 on the Cave Creek Ranger District, displayed that the coffer dam method described
above is extremely effective in preventing material from entering waterway and may be
employed during this project to protect Camp Creek. Short term direct effects from coffer dam
may include some vegetative disturbance, temporary desiccation of the aquatic ecosystem, and
limited minimal fish mortality.

Overall, the temporary dam may benefit water quality and aquatic species by greatly reducing the
chance that debris would enter water channel during cabin removal operations.

Cumulative Effects
The cumulative effects described below are contained within sections 26 and 35 within the
Humboldt quadrangle and apply to both the No Action Alternative (1), and the Proposed Action
(Alternative 2).

Past, present, proposed and reasonably foreseeable activities include the following: Cave Creek
Complex fire (2005), regular flood events, ongoing recreation activities, Forest Road (FR) 24
traffic, FR 24 maintenance, commercial traffic on FR 24, Western Area Power Authority power

Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                   29
Chapter 3 – Environmental Consequence



line maintenance, Cartwright grazing allotment, upstream riparian exclosure, and increased
recreation use anticipated from exponentially growing population of the Phoenix metropolitan
area.

Effects of the Cave Creek Complex fire have been far reaching for wildlife and associated habitat.
Unburned upland and riparian habitat within lower Camp Creek has become increasingly
important for wildlife. Coupled with the fact perennial streams are so limited in the area and
within the region, Camp Creek is a very important resource for wildlife.

Forest Road (FR) 24 is one of the primary roads used to access portions of the District west of the
Verde River. Traffic counters have documented 26,000 vehicles per year utilizing FR 24 in 2004
(Pers. Comm. K. Jardine). In addition, commercial use of FR 24 has increased substantially
during the past decade. Vehicle wildlife conflicts have been documented in the past and would
likely continue in the future.

The 345 KV power transmission line east of Camp Creek has little effect on wildlife; with
exception of migratory birds. Power lines have been documented impacting migratory birds to
varying degrees depending on structure location, guy supports, bird behavior, and species within
the area. Avian mortality caused by transmission lines have been documented elsewhere,
primarily to species that have poor lift capacity, and should be considered by wildlife managers
(Guyonne & Ferrer, 1998). No formal monitoring for bird collisions with the power transmission
line and towers has occurred. Field visits to the area in the past have not revealed evidence of
mortality to birds. Maintenance to the power line has been minimal and periodic helicopter flights
are made along the line to check for maintenance issues. Occasional maintenance may require
light vehicle traffic on FR 1100 which lies west of Camp Creek Recreation Residences. The light
vehicle traffic may decrease soil stability and sediment may runoff into Camp Creek during storm
events.

The Cartwright grazing allotment is currently not stocked. If the allotment is stocked in the
future, livestock would continue to be excluded from Camp Creek. Downstream effects to Camp
Creek from livestock grazing would be expected to be minimal under conservative utilization.

Cumulative Effects Statement - No Action - Alternative 1
The past, present, proposed, and reasonably foreseeable future activities described above
compounded with the No Action Alternative may negatively affect wildlife and fishery resources
in the future within Camp Creek. Sediment loading from regular maintenance of the power line,
ongoing sedimentation from the Cave Creek Complex Fire of 2005, increased recreational use,
additional sediment from commercial/ administrative/ recreational traffic on FR 24, and regular
flooding events may contribute to the decline of the riparian habitat quality within Camp Creek if
the No Action Alternative is implemented. The masonry wall containing septic system at cabin #
54 may fail during an unpredictable flooding event and contents would likely runoff into Camp
Creek. Additionally, sewage, lead, structural debris from both cabins, asbestos, and sediment may
discharge into Camp Creek under the No Action Alternative.

Cumulative Effects Statement - Proposed Action - Alternative 2

The past, present, proposed, and reasonably foreseeable future activities described above
compounded with the implementation of the Proposed Action is not expected to result in
additional cumulative effects within Camp Creek. The net gain of 0.268 acres of lower/ riparian


30                                Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF
Appendix




and upper riparian/ uplands vegetation would beneficially affect all species and their habitats
within the area by increasing forage availability, ground cover, riparian development, soil
stability, and recruitment of woody plant species. Short term sedimentation is expected to occur
during implementation of the Proposed Action but overall, the implementation of this Alternative
would likely have beneficial effects for wildlife and fish resources within Camp Creek.




Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                               31
Chapter 4 - Consultation and Coordination
The Forest Service consulted the following individuals, Federal, state and local agencies, tribes
and non-Forest Service persons during the development of this environmental assessment:


ID Team Members:
    Andre Silva, District Wildlife Substaff
    Genevieve Johnson, Forest Planner
    Grant Loomis, Forest Hydrologist
    Kim Vander Hoek, Forest Landscape Architect
    Louise Congdon, District Ranger
    Norm Ambos, Forest Soils Scientist
    Scott Wood, Forest Archeologist
    Tammy Pike, District Recreation, Lands and Mineral Staff


Federal and State Officials and Agencies
    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
    Arizona Dept. of Environmental Quality
    Arizona Game and Fish Dept.


Tribes
    Yavapai-Prescott Tribe
    Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation
    Yavapai-Apache Nation


Others
    Western Watersheds Project
    National Forest Homeowners
    Sierra Club
    Gerald and Pat Schaefer, President Camp Creek Community Association, Inc.
    Maricopa Audubon Society
    Defenders of Wildlife
    Center for Biological Diversity
    Stewart-Martin Environmental
    The Wilderness Society
    Forest Guardians




Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                     33
Chapter 5 – References
Allen Environmental Consulting, L.L.C. (2010). Report: Bulk asbestos inspection & lead based
    paint survey cabin 7 & 42 at Seven Springs, Carefree, Arizona for the Red J Environmental.
    (Available at Tonto NF S.O. Engineering)

Belanger, S. E., Donald, S., C., & John Cairns, J. R. (1990). Functional and pathological
    impairment of Japanese Medaka [ORYZIAS LATIPES] by long-term asbestos exposure.
    Aquatic Toxicology, 17(2), 133-154. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Eisler, R. (1988a). Lead hazards to fish, wildlife, and invertebrates: a synoptic review. U.S. Fish
    Wildl. Serv. Biol. Rep. 85(1.14).

Guyonne, F. E. & Ferrer, Janss and Miguel. (1988). Rate of Bird Collision with Power Lines:
   Effects of Conductor-Marking and Static Wire-Marking (Tasa de Choques por Parte de Aves
   con Líneas del Tendido Eléctrico: Efecto de Marcadores de Conducción y Marcadores de
   Estática) Journal of Field Ornithology 69(1), Winter, 1998, pp. 8-17

IARC. (1987). Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans Overall
   Evaluations of Carcinogenicity: An Updating of IARC Monographs Volumes 1 to 42. Pg 43-
   46.

Jardine, K. (2004). Personal communication with Kelly Jardine and ???? about traffic counts on
    FR 24.

Mason, L. W. & Johnson, J. L. (1999). Tonto National Forest Stream Assessment Method. In:
   Proceedings Specialty Conference Wildland Hydrology, D. S. Olsen and J. P. Potyondy
   (Eds.). June 30-July2, 1999, Bozeman, MT. pp. 255-257

Minckley, W. L. (1969a). Aquatic biota of the Sonoita Creek basin, Santa Cruz County, Arizona.
   The Nature Conservancy Ecological Studies Leaflet 15:1-8.1969b. Attempted
   reestablishment of the Gila topminnow within its former range. Copeia 1969:193-194.

Moots, J. K., PhD REM, and Denton, J. A. (2010). Report bulk asbestos inspection and lead
  based paint survey cabin 7 & 54. A division of Allen Environmental Consulting LLC. Tempe
  AZ.

Rich, T.D., Beardmore, C. J., Berlanga, H., Blancher, P. J., Bradstreet, M. S. W., Butcher, G. S.,
   Demarest, D. W., Dunn, E. H., Hunter, W. C., Inigo-Elias, E. E., Kennedy, J. A., Martell, A.
   M., Panjabi, A. O., Pashley, D. N., Rosenberg, K. V., Rustay, C. M., Wendt, J. S., & Will, T.
   C. (2004). Partners in Flight North American Landbird Conservation Plan. Cornell Lab of
   Ornithology, Ithaca, NY

Rosgen, D. L. (1996). Applied river morphology. Pagosa Springs, Co: Wildland Hydrology 364
   P.

Soil and Lead. Retrieved on 1/12/2011 from: http:
    //www.brown.edu/Research/EnvStudies_Theses/summit/Briefing_Papers/Soil_and_Lead/ind
    ex.htm

U. S. Census Bureau. (2005). Census



Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                   35
Appendix


U.S. Forest Service (2009). Camp Creek recreation residence continuation determination
   environmental assessment, Tonto National Forest, 148 pp.

U.S. Forest Service, Southwestern Region (3). 1985 (as amended). Tonto National Forest Plan.
   Tonto National Forest, Phoenix, AZ. October.

U.S.Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). (1998). Gila topminnow revised
   Gila topminnow recovery plan. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Lead in paint, dust, and oil. Retrieved on 1/11/2011from:
   http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/traincert.htm#abatement

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Asbestos. Retrieved on 1/11/2011from:
   http://www.epa.gov/asbestos

Weedman, D. A., Girmendonk, A. L., and Young, K. L. (1997). Gila topminnow sites in Arizona:
   Provisional extirpation report 1996-1997 field season. Nongame and Endangered Wildlife
   Program Technical Report 116. Arizona Game and Fish Department, Phoenix, AZ.

Wood, J. S. (2007). Determination of Eligibility for the Camp Creek Recreation Residence Area,
   Cave Creek Ranger District, Tonto National Forest. Tonto National Forest Heritage Report.
   2005-12-176b




36                               Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF
Chapter 6 – List of Preparers
    Andre Silva, Fish and Wildlife District Substaff

    Grant Loomis, Forest Hydrologist

    Kim Vander Hoek, Forest Landscape Architect

    Norm Ambros, Forest Soils Scientist

    Scott Wood, Forest Archeologist

    Tammy Pike, Recreation, Lands and Mineral Staff, Cave Creek District




Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF            37
Appendix




                                                        APPENDIX A

                                         Summary of Scoping Concerns
The Forest Service separated the issues into two groups: significant and non-significant issues. Significant issues were
directly or indirectly caused by implementing the proposed action. Non-significant issues were identified as those: 1)
of the proposed action; 2) already decided by law, regulation, Forest Plan, or other higher level decision; 3) irrelevant
be made; or 4) conjectural and not supported by scientific or factual evidence.


               Action                      Rationales       Significant                         Response
Tearing down cabins is punitive,         Comment           No             Revocation, as outlined in the SUP, was due t
other cabins owners feel unstable.                                        repeated uncured notices of noncompliance.
The wall is historic and should          Historic          No.            Wall has been evaluated and determined to
remain.                                  preservation                     contributing to the historic character of tract
                                                                          determination has received concurrence from
                                                                          State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).
Cabins should be retained by             Comment           No.            Revocation, as outlined in the SUP, was due t
permittees; FS is acting as a bully by                                    repeated uncured notices of noncompliance.
revoking permit.
Removal of cabins does not "serve        Comment, Law No.                 Revocation process is outlined and authorize
the people" and is not                                                    SUP. There is no evidence that individual pr
Constitutional. Removing the cabins                                       values will decline as a result of removing cab
is a waste of taxpayer dollars, will                                      Chapter 3 of the EA discloses environmental,
reduce property values, will cause                                        and economic and archaeological impacts.
the cabin owners to despair, and will
have unforeseen environmental and
archaeological impacts.


Removal of septic systems should         Law               No.            Applicable laws, policy and regulations will b
comply with Maricopa County rules.                                        followed as project is initiated.
Other alternatives considered?           Comment           No.            The EA evaluates the No Action Alternative.
Impact of taking no action?                                               is no evidence that individual property value
Property is devalued.                                                     decline as a result of removing cabins.
Action will have a negative impact       Comment           No.            The EA evaluates all known effects in Chapte
on the recreation residence tract.
Action will have adverse effect on       Comment           No.            The EA evaluates all known effects in Chapte
environment and relationships.                                            The Purpose and Need explains the condition
Retaining wall has been                                                   wall.
"satisfactorily corrected."


38                                Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF
Appendix




                 Action                     Rationales     Significant                          Response
 Effect of removal on value of            Comment,        No.            There is no evidence that individual property
 remaining cabins. Detrimental            Historic                       will decline as a result of removing cabins. T
 economic impact. Current status of       preservation                   evaluates all known effects in Chapter 3 and
 retaining wall. Will area be restored                                   Purpose and Need explains the condition of t
 to natural state? Effect on historic                                    wall. Historic features will be protected duri
 structures on sites.                                                    cabin removal.

 Historic features on both lots will be   Historic        No.            Historic features will be protected during cab
 disturbed by removal of cabins.          preservation                   removal.
 Social costs to other cabin owners if    Comment         No.            Social and economic effects are addressed in
 cabins removed. Reasons for cabin                                       Chapter 3. Revocation process, as outline in
 removal. Economic loss from permit                                      SUP, was due to repeated uncured notices of
 fees and taxes.                                                         noncompliance.
 Removal of cabins and related            Environmental   No.            Historical features will be protected. Will no
 structures will cause damage to          damage and                     the road because the road is constructed on
 Camp Creek and threaten historic         Historic                       bedrock located on the slope above the cabin
 structures. Returning lot 54 to a        preservation                   Maricopa County Dept. of Transportation).
 natural state will undermine Forest
 Road 24.

 Removal will result in fearful           Comment,        No.            Chapter 3 of the EA discloses environmental,
 permittees; economic value will be       Historic                       and economic and archaeological impacts. T
 reduced; permittees will not be          preservation                   evaluates the No Action Alternative. Histori
 committed "in the long run" to their                                    features will be protected during cabin remo
 tract; large cottonwood on approach                                     The wall has been evaluated and determined
 to lot 54 would die from the trauma                                     non-contributing to the historic character of
 of cabin removal; restoration will                                      tract. This determination received concurren
 change the runoff pattern from road                                     from SHPO
 24; historic features of the retaining
 wall have been discovered since the
 wall has been damaged



 Removal of cabins may result in          Comment         No.            Chapter 3 of the EA discloses environmental
 environmental impacts and cause                                         impacts.
 flooding that may harm downstream
 cabins and road 24 and cause the
 creation of new stream channels.


 No way to know effects, removing         Comment         No.            Chapter 3 of the EA discloses environmental,
 cabin will damage creek.                                                and economic and archaeological impacts.
 No way to know effects, historic         Comment,        No.            Chapter 3 of the EA discloses environmental,
 features impacted                        Historic                       and economic and archaeological impacts. H
                                          preservation                   features will be protected during activities.




Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF                                39
Appendix



                Action                     Rationales      Significant                        Response
Feelings of distrust and therefore       Comment          No.            Rebuilding of burnt cabins was approved und
cannot consider rebuilding burnt                                         separate EA in 2009.
cabins.
Cabins are solid and the wall is         Comment          No.            The Introduction and Purpose and Need expl
repaired.                                                                condition of the cabins and wall.
Land, creek, floodplain and historic     Comment          No.            Revocation, as outlined in the SUP, was due t
features will be impacted;                                               repeated uncured notices of noncompliance.
undermines the trust established                                         Chapter 3 of the EA discloses environmental,
between FS and permit holders                                            economic, and archeological impacts.
Removal will increase flooding,          Comment          No.            Chapter 3 of the EA discloses environmental
other alternatives considered,                                           impacts. The EA evaluates the No Action
impact of no action                                                      Alternative.


Protest destruction, cabins should       Comment          No.            Revocation, as outlined in the SUP, was due t
be returned and retained by                                              repeated uncured notices of noncompliance.
permittees
Removal will cause flooding and          Comment          No.            Chapter 3 of the EA discloses environmental,
damage downstream cabins;                                                and economic impacts.
removal of Cabin 54 may cause
overuse by public; erosion of Seven
Springs Road; revenue to treasury
will be reduced and relationship
with FS harmed; hazardous debris
will be generated

Disclose meaning of natural state,       Comment, Law No.                Chapter 3 of the EA discloses environmental,
impacts to the environment, analyze                                      and economic and archaeological impacts. T
and consider no action alternative;                                      evaluates the No Action Alternative. Histori
critical habitat and presence of TES                                     features will be protected during cabin remo
must be disclosed; effects on
floodplains and wetland should be
disclosed; disclose protection of
historic elements; disclose socio-
economic impacts


No issue(s) were raised that would lead to any additional alternatives than the No Action and the Proposed Action.




40                                 Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF
Appendix




                                     Appendix B




Environmental Assessment for Camp Creek Cabin Removal, Tonto NF   41

				
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