Help Us Celebrate 30 Years of Conservation!

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Arizona-Idaho Conservation Act of 1988 that created the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA). The SPRNCA protects almost 57,000 acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management adjoining 40 miles of the San Pedro River from the international border to St. David.  The 30th Anniversary of the SPRNCA is a time to reflect on the success of river protection and good stewardship for the past three decades, while looking forward to the next thirty years and beyond.
 
To commemorate this occasion, the Friends of the San Pedro River and the Bureau of Land Management are planning a celebration at the San Pedro House on Saturday, November 17, from 2 to 4 p.m.  Speakers will include former US House Representative Jim Kolbe, former BLM Arizona State Director Dean Bibles, representatives from the Bureau of Land Management, and the Friends of the San Pedro River.  YOU are invited to join us!
 
Please click here to submit your RSVP on-line.  We would appreciate your response by November 9th to help us plan for seating and parking.

List of volunteer services for VSA form

New! In order to complete the revised BLM Volunteer Service Agreement form (also available in hardcopy) for fiscal year 2019 starting October 1, 2018, volunteers should check each of the boxes listing the services they plan to provide during the course of the year.  The volunteer roles associated with those services are described in the pages below:

Summer 2018 River Roundup Is Here!

Here’s what’s happening!

Summer 2018 Newsletter

In this issue: President’s Report… August Work Day… Board Election & Annual Meeting… St David Birding with Tucson Audubon… 30th SPRNCA Anniversary… June Work Day… BLM Draft Resource Management Plan Comments Sought… SPH Signage… Volunteer & Staff Kudos… Service Ethic… Members… Calendar… ContactsMembers… Calendar… Contacts

More grazing in SPRNCA? Still time to comment on draft RMP!

How to submit comments on draft SPRNCA Resource Management Plan 
Help us protect the river and celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA).  Submit your substantive comments on the draft RMP to the Bureau of Land Management during the public comment period that ends September 27, 2018.  [In the row for SPRNCA DRMP Vol1, click on the Comment on Document button.]  Use the guide linked here to help you craft your comments.

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Join Tucson Audubon on the San Pedro

Join Tucson Audubon Society for two events in September:

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More grazing, hunting in SPRNCA?

Attend the Public Meeting in Sierra Vista August 22!

BLM will host another public meeting on the draft RMP at 5:30pm Wednesday, August 22 at the Sierra Vista Police Department.  This is an opportunity to voice your concerns about BLM’s plan to open more areas in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area to grazing and hunting.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released the draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area with a 90 day comment period.  Major changes from the current management approach include increased grazing.

The Friends of the San Pedro River has reviewed the draft and shared our position on the FSPR website.  To begin your own review, you can access the document online. Public input will shape the final plan.

Public meetings on the draft RMP are scheduled for:

  • Aug. 8, 5:30-7 p.m., Benson Fire Department Station 71, 375 E. 7th Street, Benson, Arizona
  • Aug. 22, 5:30-7 p.m., Sierra Vista Police Department, 911 N. Coronado Drive, Sierra Vista, Arizona  (Meeting attendees should use the lobby entrance to access the room)
  • Aug. 23, 5:30-7 p.m., Pima Community College, 401 N. Bonita Ave., Tucson, Arizona

Public input will shape the final plan, and we strongly encourage you to attend one of the public meetings to learn more about the draft RMP and voice your concerns and suggestions.

AZ Supreme Court opens door to Tribute

Thursday, August 9th, was a sad day for the Friends of the San Pedro River and everyone who cares about the continued existence of the San Pedro, a rare, functioning desert riparian area, and the wildlife it supports. By the slimmest of majorities, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled against a lawsuit that sought to force consideration of groundwater usage as part of the approval of the Tribute residential development project in the Sierra Vista area.

The Friends hoped the plaintiffs would prevail in order to require that the Arizona Department of Water Resources consider the federal water right for the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area in determining whether there was 100 years of adequate and legally available water supply for Tribute. Instead, the court ruled that ADWR is under no obligation to consider the impact of additional pumping by Tribute on the San Pedro River. Owners of residential wells in the area should be concerned because this means they too have no protection for their water source from prospective deep groundwater pumping associated with Tribute.

Pumping in the Sierra Vista area is already withdrawing more groundwater from the aquifer than is replenished. The result is a cone of depression where the aquifer is being drained. This cone of depression is spreading and adversely affects the flow of groundwater to the San Pedro River. Tribute will add 7,000 new homes that will require additional groundwater withdrawals from the aquifer. The end-result is sadly easy to anticipate.

FSPR position on draft RMP

The BLM has released a draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA). This plan will govern how the SPRNCA will be managed for the next few decades. The Friends has completed a first review of the document and will provide comments to the BLM during meetings and in writing. We would like to share with you our reaction and concerns.

But first, how to find the draft documents…
The draft RMP is available for the public to review and provide comments on the BLM ePlanning website at https://go.usa.gov/xnTuM.  Get involved!  Your opinion counts. Your voice is needed to counter those with influence who are working behind the scenes to undo the work of the last 30 years.

Public meetings on the draft plan are scheduled for:

  • July 30, 5:30-7 p.m., Sierra Vista Police Department, 911 N. Coronado Drive, Sierra Vista, Arizona (Meeting attendees should use the lobby entrance to access the room)
  • Aug. 8, 5:30-7 p.m., Benson Fire Department Station 71, 375 E. 7th Street, Benson, Arizona
  • Aug. 22, 5:30-7 p.m., Sierra Vista Police Department, 911 N. Coronado Drive, Sierra Vista, Arizona  (Meeting attendees should use the lobby entrance to access the room)
  • Aug. 23, 5:30-7 p.m., Pima Community College, 401 N. Bonita Ave., Tucson, Arizona

Public input will shape the final plan, and we encourage you to attend one of the public meetings to learn more about the draft RMP and voice your opinions and suggestions.

Overall assessment. The BLM has been working on this document for several years. We commend them for the completion of this draft and look forward to working towards issuance of a final plan that continues current protection of this precious national resource.  However, we do have significant concerns as discussed below.
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