Tony Ranch Cultural Resource & Ecological Assessment Project

ACS, subconsultant to the Moore/Swick Partnership, recently completed an exciting research project for the Superstition Area Land Trust (SALT). The fieldwork involved the baseline documentation of existing resources and conditions at Tony Ranch in Haunted Canyon, which hosts a unique middle elevation riparian setting for Arizona. Haunted Canyon is known widely by hikers and birders for its beauty and diversity of plant and animal life. The Tony Ranch property consists of a historic homestead with the remains of the original cabin and other historic features. Together these cultural features form a Rural Historic Landscape that was assessed through this project for its National Register eligibility. Additionally, the fieldwork involved a Class III cultural resource survey, a cultural landscape inventory, biological inventories (flora and fauna), riparian health assessment, and soil and water testing. The cultural survey recorded features associated with the historic homestead, such as the log cabin, property fences, paths, and corrals, as well as agricultural areas that were farmed on the property between 1919 and 1925.

The project area was digitized based off an historic General Land Office Plat from 1919 and a series of maps were made to aid prefield documentation of the Tony Ranch Parcel.  ACS standard geodatabase for GPS field data collection was modified to better streamline the collection of unique features associated with the ranch. A GPS unit with sub-meter accuracy was used to plot the locations of all of features recorded by both archaeologists and biologists and the combined data was integrated in the geodatabase.   Following fieldwork, the data collected from the survey was post-processed allowing for even higher GPS accuracy. These data were used in the production of all the maps that were included in the report.

Victoria Vargas served as the ACS team lead and Cultural Resources Principal Investigator for this project, Tracy McCarthey, ACS Manager of Environmental Services, led the ecological assessment team, Kevin Moore of Moore/Swick served as the lead for the overall project consultant team and the landscape architecture team, and Lynn Miller, Member of SALT ’s Board of Directors and noted landscape architect, was the project coordinator and lead for SALT. You can learn more about the Tony Ranch property and SALT by visiting their website at: