The City of Willcox, which markets itself as the "Gateway to the Chiricahuas
," is the closest city to the national monument.
Houser grew up on a farm in Oklahoma, where a small group of the freed Chiricahuas
elected to stay instead of joining the Mescalero Apaches on a reservation.
The Mimbres, or Warm Springs, Apaches were an eastern division of the famous Chiricahuas
who controlled southwestern New Mexico Territory through the 1860s.
2A) from Arizona (holotype: Chiricahua
Mountains, Cochise Co.), with paratypes from the Chiricahuas
and Ash Fork (Yavapai Co.) in Arizona and Jemez Springs (Sandoval Co.) and Magdalena (Socorro Co.) in New Mexico.
The ruins of Fort Bowie unleash the final chapter of the story, as for more than 30 years the camp was a focal point for US military operations, culminating in the surrender of Geronimo in 1886 and the banishment of the Chiricahuas
to Florida and Alabama.
Following the federal government's abolition of the Chiricahua
Apache reservation, the Chiricahuas
were declared "prisoners of war" and were forced into exile and imprisonment beginning in 1886 for some three decades.
are a Sky Island range 20 miles wide, 40 miles long, and rising nearly 10,000 feet.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, however, the United States took over Apacheria, defeated the Chiricahuas
, transported them to Florida, then to Alabama, as prisoners of war.
"I knew they're considered stunning," he says, "but I had no idea just how stunning until I actually saw some trogans on the trip in the Chiricahuas
." The plumage of the male elegant trogan (above) boasts no less than nine colors and its mating call, notes the writer, "is unlike any other bird I've heard." Vanderpool's article about trogans, "In Search of Arizona's Elegant Visitor," begins on page 30.