NPS Photo by Barry Nielsen
Generally, in the Gila National Forest, ponderosa pine is the dominant species at elevations between 6,000 and 7,000 feet. Somewhat higher, and in many canyons, is a mixed conifer forest typically dominated by Douglas-fir, often with Gambel's oak. Woodlands of pinon pine, juniper, and oak in varying combinations, are present on drier sites throughout the forest. Riparian areas support rich deciduous or coniferous woodland and, locally, small areas of marsh or other open habitats.
Did You Know?
Stone axes made it challenging for the ancient Puebloans of the Mogollon area to cut down trees for vigas (roof beams) in the Gila Cliff Dwellings. So, before chopping the tree trunks, they would burn a small fire around the base of the trunk to weaken it so their axes could cut it down more easily.