Ppine is short for ponderosa pine and it is what I studied in college. Arizona has the largest ppine forest in the world. I worked in AZ many times mostly on the Navajo Res, and my Dad had a ranch near Flagstaff for 30 years. A couple of thoughts.
This forest type is the driest in N Amer after pinion and juniper which are not merchantable under normal conditions. Ponderosa and its very close relative Jeffrey pine, forests have evolved to have a very close relationship with fire.
I hope that readers of this forum who care about natural resources, realize how many problems have been created by strict fire suppression in the last 100 hundred years. That problem has been compounded by restricted logging (and thinning) in the last 20 years.
Under natural conditions, ppine forests will burn every 7-10 years with low intensity ground fires. Now we have intermittent catastrophic crown fires every 40-100 years. We have a lot of catch-up work to do. It is my hope that in our lifetimes we will able to utilize small diameter trees and brush to run wood-fired power plants, and make ethanol fuels for motor vehicles. It is one of the only ways to pay for the massive clean-up of our forests that needs to happen.
Loc: California (southern)
During my first season of fire fighting (in a ponderosa forest - Rincon Mountains, Arziona) our orders were to extinguish every fire immediately. We got bonus points if we put it out before it started. In our training, controlled burns were mentioned as a possible strategy, but mostly we heard about one that got away and blew up. It was an option that was not yet ready for prime time.
Same thing in the late 60's where I and my crew of Navajo stone masons were asked to fight fires in the Gila Wilderness when we showed up at Gila Cliff Dwellings to repair the ruins there. We were suppressing itty-bitty snag fires, just a tad larger than a campfire. The District Ranger opined that we should have let some of those burn.
The touch is lighter now. The Gila Wilderness will allow fires to burn if conditions are right, and I have participated in controlled burns on the Channel Islands, but it is a very tricky business and there is a lot of unburned fuel laying around out there. If you don't handle things just right, you can have a very nasty situation.
Ppine, I wondered if your handle did not have something to do with ponderosa. I too have spend a air amount of time on the Reservation, primarily around Canyon de Chelly and Chaco Canyon. My first permanent job with the NPS was at Wupatki-Sunset Crater.
This is getting downright western. I had a contract with Peabody Coal Co. on Black Mesa doing reclamation work for 6 years and stayed at Tsegi Cyn. The biologist with PCC grew up on Hopi and took us on trips to see artifacts all the time. He got married at Keet Seel ruins 10 miles from the road. Grandma came in on a donkey.
I have worked with several consulting outfits that have featured archaeological surveys. I have done some Class III surveys, but am best at historical stuff like mining, logging and old firearms. We found a lost mining camp of Rosebud, NV up near the Oregon border.
Loc: California (southern)
Keet Seel is a great spot for a wedding, although one should see it even if matrimony is not in the plan. Beautiful spot, and the cliff dwelling is the best preserved of any in the National Park Service.
Did the wedding party spend the night in the campground?