Summer 2019 River Roundup Is Here!

Here’s what’s happening!

Summer 2019 Newsletter

In This Issue: President’s Report… Bailey’s Recovery… New SPRNCA Bird Checklist… SE AZ Bird Vocalizations… Former Defense Sites in SPRNCA… Earth Day 2019… Talking Up the River… Wet/Dry Mapping… MAPS Program… History of SPRNCA & FSPR… From Fuelwood to Fossil Fuels.. New River Website… Members… Calendar… Contacts

 

Oppose Interior’s plan to relocate BLM out of DC

Oppose Interior’s Plan to Move BLM Washington Office Employees out West

The Interior Department under this administration is relocating the BLM’s headquarters out of Washington, DC to Grand Junction, Colorado along with 27 employees. These include the currently vacant Bureau Director position (President Trump has not nominated anyone to fill the Director’s position), the career Deputy Director for Operations, and all Assistant Directors plus some support staff.  This relocation is a thinly veiled attempt to dismantle the BLM headquarters and diminish its effectiveness as an organization.  The Friends do not support this poorly conceived relocation.


The Friends support the Public Lands Foundation efforts to oppose the BLM reorganization.  PLF notes in its letter to Congress:

The BLM already is organizationally aligned to have office locations that provide for the appropriate coordination necessary to make sound resource management decisions. The western offices of the BLM provide the operational function for the organization. The decentralized nature of the BLM allows for efficient and timely responses to western constituents. Approximately 97 percent of the BLM employees are currently located on-the-ground in Field, District, and State Offices to make land use decisions based on public interest, resource conditions, cooperating agency concerns, and BLM policy.

 

The BLM headquarters located in Washington, D.C. houses about 3 percent of the BLM employees. The Directorate and professional support staff develop national policy and regulations, prepare and manage the budget, and provide program oversight to assure efficient and consistent management across the agency. This work requires coordination and daily interaction with multiple agencies, departments, OMB, the White House, and Congressional members.

 

The PLF does not support the relocation of the BLM headquarters leadership and what appears to be over 80 percent of the headquarters professional staff to locations throughout the west.  This reorganization proposal will result in a weak and ineffective management structure, a loss of national coordination and oversight capability, a loss of consistent agency policy development and implementation, and a subrogation of national interests to powerful local interests.

 

Most PLF members have seen a variety of reorganization efforts. For the most part they have proven to be very disruptive and costly and in the end were found to be problematic and were reversed by the next administration. As an organization, the PLF would ask that this proposal be rescinded. There is no apparent goal other than dismantling the BLM headquarters.

Like-minded FSPR members can help efforts to oppose the BLM reorganization. Members who want to support these efforts can use the draft PLF letter (PDF document and raw text) as a foundation for preparing your own.

If you decide to send letters, please do so before the upcoming House Committee on Natural Resources hearing scheduled for September 10.  Let us know if you need addresses for your representatives.

Thanks for your support!

Friends of the San Pedro River
Email: fspr@sanpedroriver.org

New! SEAZ Birds: The Missing Tracks

A new digital audio collection, SEAZ Birds: The Missing Tracks, is available to the birding community as a free download. The project was created by local birder Diana Doyle, who recently moved to Southeast Arizona’s unique birding region of the Madrean Sky Islands. Logging hours in the field, she noticed that many of the region’s unique borderland calls were missing in the popular national birding apps, whether it was a common species like Bewick’s Wren with its very different Mexican song, or a hoped-for rarity such as Eared Quetzal. SEAZ Birds: The Missing Tracks ultimately became a 117-track, 75-species, five-disc digital collection. Read the media release with all the details.

For additional information, liner notes, cover art, or access to one or more of the discs, email diana@birdingaboard.org.

List of volunteer services for VSA form

In order to complete the revised BLM Volunteer Service Agreement form (also available in hardcopy) for fiscal year 2020 starting October 1, 2019, volunteers should check each of the boxes listing the services they plan to provide during the course of the year and then send email to fspr@sanpedroriver.org about how to submit the form.  The volunteer roles associated with those services are described in the pages below:

Info on former defense sites in SPRNCA

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been investigating an area of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area that was used during World War II by Fort Huachuca for military training.  This area is identified as the Fort Huachuca Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS).  The Army Corps of Engineers is implementing a Community Education Program that informs visitors about the history of the area, the potential to encounter old military munitions in this area, and the 3Rs of Explosives Safety they can follow to protect themselves and the land.

As part of the Community Education Program, the Army Corps of Engineers has placed informational fact sheets or brochures at the San Pedro House and Fairbank School House for visitors.  They have also provided the Friends of San Pedro River with information that is available on the FSPR website, including the updated fact sheet, brochure on the 3Rs of Explosives Safety and the 3Rs logo, and the link to the Fort Huachuca FUDS website (https://www.spl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Formerly-Used-Defense-Sites/Former-Fort-Huachuca/).