The endangered Mt. Graham red squirrel is protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. It is illegal to “take” (this means harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap capture, or collect, or attempt to engage in such conduct) individuals of this species. This includes toughing and feeding. If anyone “takes” (as defined above) a Mt. Graham red squirrel, they may be subject to prosecution under the Endangered Species Act.

Report all squirrels wounded or harmed to the first available Forest Officer. The Forest Service will report all dead or wounded animals to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Locations of killed squirrels should be immediately reported to the Forest Service so that the dead squirrel can be collected and preserved for study.

There is some concern that the squirrels could become dependant on human food, which I turn may reduce survival. Be sure that you properly dispose of all trash. Do no put food items in the construction materials dumpsters at the telescope site.

There are Mt. Graham red squirrels near many Pinale\xF1o Mountain roads. The squirrels do cross roads, so drive slowly and carefully to avoid hitting any Mt. Graham red squirrels.

Your are to keep your personal permit with you at all times. Permits are issued by the U.S. Forest Service through Mt. Graham International Observatory Base Camp.


I have read and understand the Site/Vehicle Permit requirements and the conditions under which they are issued:

  • I will remain inside the clearing limits of the LBTO facilities (delineated by a yellow perimeter rope).

  • I will not go beyond the clearing limits (boundaries) of the two-mile, one-way, observatory access road.

  • I will not use this permit for any purposes that those stated on my permit.

If these conditions are not met, I understand I will be in violation of the terms of the Special Use Permit issued to the University of Arizona.

Keep vehicle permit on the dash facing up for security to verify.

Why Permits?

The LBT Observatory is operated under a special use permit with the U.S. Forest Service. To comply with that permit, all personnel accessing the LBT site must have USFS authorization to enter he endangered Mt. Graham Red Squirrel refugium. Advance notice of your visit to LBTO is required in order to obtain your permit.

The U.S. Forest Service requires personal and vehicle permits upon entering the refugium of the Mt. Graham Red Squirrel, an endangered sub-species. The Mount Graham Base Camp (MGIO) handles all permitting requirements for authorized guests, scientists and employees of the Observatory. The Forest Service requires 3 to 5 working days to issue the permit. Therefore, we request that you email: as soon as your plans are formulated.

Obtaining Your Permit...

Email the names of each person, their affiliation, and duration of visit. In turn LBTO will request your permit from the Base Camp and Forest Service. A briefing paper concerning the Red Squirrel is to be read and signed prior to receiving the permit.

Information Needed:

  • Person's name, affiliation, and duration of visit, (permit to be kept on your person).

  • Vehicle description, license plate number and state in which the plates are issued, (permit to be kept in the glove box of that vehicle).

What About the Visiting Public?

Permits for the general public are issued through Discovery Park, the official visitor's center for MGIO. Discovery Park would appreciate advance notice. Information on public tours via Discovery Park can be obtained at:

Discovery Park 1651 W. Discovery Park Boulevard Safford, AZ 85546

phone: (928) 428-6260 fax: (928) 428-8081 Web Site:

Topic revision: r2 - 10 Jan 2007, GriselaKoeppen
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