The Pinaleño Mountains or "Mount Graham" is a unique ecological treasure that is sacred to the San Carlos Apache. It is the tallest mountain in southern Arizona and encompasses 6 different life zones from the valley floor to its peak at 10,720 feet (3,267 meters). It is the tallest mountain in southern Arizona.
For decades, Apaches, scientists, conservationists, and university students have resisted the University of Arizona's decision to build several large telescopes on the mountain's summit.
In English - Mount Graham or Pinaleños
In Apache - Dzil Nchaa Si An
Called a "Sky Island" ecosystem, the old growth forests on Mount Graham's summit are the Arizona equivalent of rainforests. The abundant springs and high altitude meadows have offered sustenance and a source of healing to desert dwelling Apaches. While frequent cloud cover makes telescope viewing marginal (Mount Graham was ranked 38th in a study of astronomical sites in the US), the cool moist characteristics of the mountain have aided the evolution of 18 different plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. The construction of telescopes and resulting federal closure of the mountain top are desecrating the mountain and its irreplaceable relationship with the Apache People, as well as continuing to degrade the top of this once pristine mountaintop.