Mount Graham (called in Nnee biyati' (Western Apache) Dził Nchaa Sí'an - ′Big Seated Mountain′) is a mountain in Graham County, Arizona, United States, approximately 70 miles (110 km) northeast of Tucson. The mountain reaches 10,724 feet (3,269 m) in height. It is the highest elevation in Graham County, Coronado National Forest and the Pinaleño Mountains It is also the most southerly peak and land area in the continental United States above 10,000 feet (3,048 m). As the name "Mount Graham" is often used by locals to refer to the entire mountain range, the peak itself is frequently referred to as "High Peak". It is twentieth of the 57 ultra prominent peaks of the lower 48 states, and the first of the five in Arizona.
Mount Graham, Safford
|Elevation||10,724 ft (3,269 m) NAVD 88|
|Prominence||6,320 ft (1,926 m) |
|Location||Graham County, Arizona, U.S.|
|Parent range||Pinaleño Mountains|
|Topo map||USGS Mount Graham|
Mount Graham summits are headwaters for numerous perennial streams that tumble through five major botanical zones. Located between the southern Rocky Mountains and Mexico's Sierra Madre Occidental, and biologically isolated for millennia, the higher elevations have provided refuge for relict populations of plants and animals with adaptive strategies rooted in Pleistocene ice age environmental conditions. Of particular note are stands of the oldest conifer trees in the U.S. Southwest and associated habitats for threatened and endangered species, especially the Mount Graham Red Squirrel.
Located near the northern limit of the Chiricahua Apache homeland and the southern margins of Western Apache territory, the range is one of the Western Apache's four holiest mountains and is considered sacred by all of the region's Native peoples. Since a determination by the Keeper of the Register in 2002, Dził Nchaa Sí'an, as it is known in the Western Apache language, ranks as the largest and most extensive (~330,000 acres) property listed on or formally determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1993, the St. Paisius Orthodox Monastery was founded at the base of the mountain.
Mount Graham ObservatoryEdit
Mount Graham is home to the Mount Graham International Observatory area, where multiple organizations have set up large telescopes in a few separate observatories authorized by a rare peace-time Congressional waiver of U.S. environmental laws.
The United States Congress authorized construction of the observatories on the mountain in 1988, but there has been outcry from the four federally recognized tribes of the Western Apache Nation and Native American groups, who consider the site to be sacred. Environmental groups, including the Sierra Club also oppose the Mount Graham International Observatory because the higher elevations are the last remaining habitat for the Mount Graham Red Squirrel.
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- Jon Johnson (November 11, 2011). "Mount Graham may become anglers' choice destination". Eastern Arizona Courier. Retrieved 2014-07-09.
- "100th Congress": "Public law 100-696" Retrieved on 2009-04-16