Instruments & Operations



Red SquirrelMany visitors to the LBT are unaware that MGIO sits in the middle of a protected area for an endangered species; the Mount Graham Red Squirrel (photo by Paul Young), Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis, more commonly referred to simply as the red squirrel. The 2007 census identified only about 300 remaining red squirrels. The summit of Mt. Graham, including the area around the LBT, is designated a refugium and is off-limits to all people visiting the telescopes. You will be required to carry a Mt. Graham Red Squirrel Refugium Pass that will be issued after you read and sign a statement that you understand that you cannot disturb this area or any red squirrels. What this means is that when you leave the building, even for a walk or jog, you must stay on the roads that service the telescope site. You can receive a citation for violation of the federal Endangered Species Act from the U.S. Forest Service (and the consequences that come with it) if you disobey this requirement.