Newspaper Archive of
San Manual Miner
San Manuel , Arizona
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March 31, 2010     San Manual Miner
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March 31, 2010
 

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Special Edition Special Edition 6pecial Edition Oak Flat area has rich, diverse historv By Lana Jones Oak Flat campground east of Superior may be getting llenty of news lately as part of the proposed Resolution Colper land swap but it has long been a popular and important area. Oak Flat is part of the Tonto National Forest, originally designated in 1905. Scott Wood, forest archeologist for the Tonto, said that the forest was set up to protect the Salt River and later the Verde River watersheds. "The story of the campground," he said, "is it was always a popular place to camp since it was halfway between Superior and Globe." He said that in the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps built the campground while also doing erosion control work at Oak Flat. "That functioned for a while, but it was difficult to maintain the road and we didn't have good access to water so then we built the current campground in the 50s," Wood said. Around the same time, Wood said that the campground, along with every campground in the :,,: .... ......... country was withdrawn / from mineral entry. "It was a general exclusion during the Eisenhower administration from all the campgrounds and recreation sites in the forest," he said. Not much has changed there since that time. "It's been a very popular place for many, many years," Wood said. He said that people were drawn to the area because of the landscape. "The landscape is a very unique one," he said. The landscape also makes the campground popular with rock climbers. "It's got a lot of fun places to go rock climbing and bouldering, all around there," said Wood. Before there were campers and rock climbers, cowboys were passing through Oak Flat. Jack San Felice, local author and historian, said that an old cowboy trail is still visible on some of the old maps of the area. "There was a trail that went down offApache Leap where they used to drive the cattle down to the little town of Pinal," said Felice. "The cattle used to go wild and they See Oak Flat, Page 2A CAMPGROUND i .k , Leroy Froese, a visitor from Vancouver, British Columbia, wanted to check out the area and planned to camp at Oak Flat.