The BLM yesterday introduced three vintage posters and postcards depicting some of the spectacular landscapes of our National Conservation Lands, to include Eagletail Mountains Wilderness in Arizona.
The Eagletail Mountains Wilderness was selected for protection with the adoption of the Arizona Desert Wilderness Act of 1990. Located approximately 65 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona in the Sonoran Desert, this vast 97,880-acre desert preserve represents one of the finest examples of unspoiled desert landscapes in Western Arizona. Not only does this area offer spectacular scenery, unusual geology and interesting flora and fauna, but this wilderness also contains numerous petroglyphs, showing the vibrant native cultures that survived in this harsh landscape for thousands of years.
Named for three columnar stone shafts that resemble the tail feathers of an eagle, the feature attraction of the Eagletail Mountains Wilderness is rock. The Wilderness consists almost entirely of volcanic rock. Running the length of this range is a prominent dike, which forms a row of jagged spires and peaks. A number of unusual formations, such as natural arches, are also tucked away in the range. Lava flows dating back to the Tertiary period characterize some areas of the Wilderness, and bajada plains fan out from the range on either side.
Flora and Fauna
The vegetation in the Eagletail Mountains Wilderness is typically Sonoran Desert. Palo verde, mesquite, saguaro cactus, creote bush, barrel cactus, cholla, ocotillo, desert hackberry, tomatillo, and range ratany are the principal plants. Mule deer, cactus wren, desert tortoise, red-tailed hawk, peregrine falcon, king snake, great horned owl, American kestrel, coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, kangaroo rat, cottontail, Sonoran shovelnose snake, and ash-throated flycatcher are among the many animals that inhabit the wilderness.
Petroglyphs discovered in the rocks reveal secrets of some of the earliest Native American inhabitants in the Southwest. Certain sites along the Wilderness trail have significance because they were the sites of a spring providing a critical source of water in the arid desert. This area only gets around 4 inches of rain per year, so these springs were essentially the only way to survive out in this land. An examination of the petroglyphs reveals the classic signs of corn fields aligned with solar angles to tell these ancient people when to plant and harvest their corn.
The Eagletail Mountains Wilderness is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. The area offers opportunities for challenging recreational activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing and extraordinary opportunities for solitude.
The Eagletail Mountains Wilderness is part of the 110 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of lands provides clean air, water, and habitat critical for rare and endangered plants and animals. The Bureau of Land Management manages these public lands as part of the National Landscape Conservation System.
View and download photos of the vintage poster and landscapes on the My Public Lands Flickr site, Earth Day 2014: Vintage Poster set.