On September 30th, Chiricahua National Monument held its “Celebrate Wilderness!” day, with employees, volunteers, and Student Conservation Association interns celebrating the park’s relationship with the wilderness that encompasses 86% of the park.
The day started with a talk on the history of wilderness by superintendent Brian Carey, inspiring wilderness quotes, then a five-mile round trip hike into the Chiricahua wilderness area to Inspiration Point. The hikers glimpsed many of the animals that call the wilderness area home, among them a recently fed Sonoran mountain king snake. Afterwards, the group enjoyed light refreshments at the annual awards recognition ceremony for staff and volunteers.
In recognition of this year’s IMR wilderness theme, “Wilderness Forever – Safety Always,” bandanas were donned throughout the day to remind staff to be safe in the backcountry. Park staff reviewed the park’s backcountry travel protocols for both Chiricahua and Fort Bowie.