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Land Ownership in the Tonto Creek Basin

Land ownership, including the percentage of ownership by category, for the Tonto Creek Basin is shown in Figure 5.3-2.  The principal feature of land ownership in this basin is the large amount of forest service land. A description of land ownership data sources and methods is found in Volume 1, Appendix A.  More detailed information on National Parks, Monuments and Wilderness Areas is found in Section 5.0.4.  Land ownership categories are discussed below from largest to smallest percentage in the basin.

National Forest

  • 97.5% of the land is federally owned and managed as managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS); the largest percentage of any basin in the planning area. 
  • Forest lands in the basin are part of the Tonto National Forest.
  • The basin contains two wilderness areas, a portion of the 250,053-acre Mazatzal Wilderness and the entire 37,399-acre Hellsgate Wilderness.  (see Figure 5.0-13)
  • There are numerous small private in-holdings.
  • Land uses include recreation, grazing and timber production.


  • 2.4% of the land is private.
  • Small in-holdings of private land are scattered throughout the basin with a number of larger parcels in the vicinity of Punkin Center and Star Valley.
  • Land uses include domestic, commercial and ranching.

Indian Reservation

  • 0.1% of the land is under ownership of the Tonto Apache tribe.
  • The small portion of tribal land in this basin is located in T10N, R10E.
  • Land use includes domestic and ranching.

Click to view Figure 5.3-2

Click for Figure 5.3-2 Tonto Creek Basin

Land Ownership


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References and Supplemental Reading for the Tonto Creek Basin

Colorado River Central Highlands Planning Area Download entire Central Highlands Planning Area Atlas in pdf Forest Ponderosa forest