Current Issue of the River Roundup
Fall 2016 River Roundup Newsletter
In This Issue:
President’s Report… Tribute Ruling… Holiday Sale… SPH Weed Out… History Walks… Educational Programs… Empire Ranch Round-Up… School Field Trips… Clanton Ranch… Holliday or Escapule…? Railroads… Christmas Bird Counts… Calendar… Members… Contacts…
November 29 is here! This is one of the biggest fundraising events of the year in Arizona. Instead of shopping in a mall on Black Friday, we hope you did OptOutside! Now join us today on GivingTuesday!! With YOUR help, we can advocate for protection of the San Pedro River and promote good stewardship!
Many of you have participated in the Ramsey Canyon Christmas Bird Count (RCCBC) in prior years. During the 2013 count, 108 participants documented 147 bird species. We have decided to revive the RCCBC this year, with some changes to past counts.
The 2016 count date will be Friday, December 16th. Karen LeMay will be the point of contact for organizing teams and fielding questions. Please respond directly to Karen LeMay by sending email to email@example.com or by calling (520) 378-3262.
We have learned that the Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area is without sufficient funds to pump enough water to provide protection for the Sandhill Cranes that call WWD home for the winter. Many of our members will be concerned about Whitewater Draw and the Sandhill Cranes, so we are forwarding this request for donations. The Tucson office of the Arizona Game and Fish Department has created a special account to help mitigate this problem. This is a first for the AZGF and illustrates how dire the situation is.
If you can help with a donation, just access the donation form, print it out, complete and sign the form, and mail it with your check. Please mark only the first box, Whitewater Draw Groundwater Pumping and Habitat Maintenance, to be sure your donation goes directly to the groundwater pumping effort. When you send in your checks make sure you note on the envelope and on the check: ATTENTION, CINDY PEREZ.
A donation of $100 automatically enters you into a drawing for a two night stay at Battiste Bed, Breakfast, and Birds, good through 2017, based on availability. A donation for every multiple of $100 will give you more chances to win. For example, a $500 donation equals five chances!!!
Thanks to our good friends Tony and Julie Battiste for alerting us to this situation and for their generous offer of a chance to stay at their beautiful bed and breakfast.
And in other news…..
SAVE THE DATE: We understand that the Bureau of Land Management might hold a public scoping meeting on January 10, 2017 about the Environmental Assessment for the cottonwoods at San Pedro House. We’ll provide more details when we have them.
Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) officials did not properly consider the rights of the Bureau of Land Management, namely the federal reserve water right for the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA) created by an Act of Congress in 1988, when it gave the go-ahead for a 7,000-home development in Sierra Vista, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
See the article on the appellate ruling (by Howard Fisher of Capitol Media Services) published by the Sierra Vista Herald for further information.
New! In order to complete the revised BLM Volunteer Service Agreement form (available in hardcopy) for fiscal year 2017 starting October 1, 2016, 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:
Photo by James Mahoney
The BLM issued a press release announcing the public comment period on its plans to address the iconic cottonwood trees at San Pedro House. The BLM has proposed pruning the healthy tree that overhangs San Pedro House and removing the huge, aging cottonwood just to the west. The Friends of the San Pedro River prefer an alternative in which both trees are pruned and the larger, western tree is left fenced to protect the public and allowed to die naturally.
UPDATE: The arborist’s report and his slide presentation on the trees have been added to the BLM eplanning website where the scoping document is still available. This is your opportunity to provide substantive comments. The deadline has been extended to July 29. BLM asks that these comments be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The scoping document describes the type of questions that would inform substantive comments. According to the BLM announcement:
In order for your comment to be substantive you must include rationale for why the extraordinary circumstance is triggered.
Again, read the scoping document for details on how to comment. Stay tuned to our FSPR Facebook page for updates.
Finally, Tom Wood of the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory (and a former President of the Friends of the San Pedro River) has created an on-line petition to save the trees. “Signing” the online petition is one way to express your opinion and feelings about the cottonwoods at the San Pedro House.
Cropped photo by James Mahoney.
The Friday Morning Focus Show featured a discussion about the iconic cottonwood trees at San Pedro House. The show, hosted by Pat Call, invited FSPR President Robert Weissler to discuss BLM’s plans to address these large, aging trees and public reaction and concern over the possible removal of the oldest one. Hear the hour-long radio program.