Number9Wagons Ho!

European SettlersPeople have always relied on the limited natural water resources in the Southwest. Availability of water determined the location of habitation.

By the mid-1800s, European settlers began moving into the area for cattle and sheep ranching, farming and logging. People today are still drawn to this area’s cool temperatures, natural resources and diversity.

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Big Springs is located on Woodland Road, ½ mile south of White Mountain Blvd. (State Route 260), adjacent to the White Mountain Wildlife & Nature Center. Many improvements have been made at Big Springs to facilitate environmental education and public use. Many such improvements were funded by the Arizona Game and Fish Heritage Fund, established by voter initiative in 1990, with funding from the Arizona lottery. The latest improvements and brochure printing were funded by a Secure Rural Schools Act grant from the U. S. Forest Service to the White Mountain Nature Center. Big Springs is managed under a unique partnership. Land ownership is national forest, with a special use permit for an outdoor classroom issued to the Blue Ridge Unified School District. These partners cooperate in its management and enhancement:

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