Candidate Responses on the Future of the River

The Friends of the San Pedro River asked all the relevant candidates (for elective office in Arizona for the November 2020 election who would serve the residents of southeastern Arizona) to answer three questions about the future of the San Pedro River.  The goal of this effort is to educate local voters about the positions of these candidates with regard to this special desert river.  FSPR received responses from the following candidates before the deadline, namely Kim Beach-Moschetti, Robert Karp, and Ronnie Maestas-Condos:

Here are the candidates for federal elected office for Arizona:

U.S. Senator DEM
Mark Kelly [D]

U.S. Senator GOP
Martha McSally (i) [R] [I]

U.S. Representative in Congress District 2 DEM
Ann Kirkpatrick [D]

U.S. Representative in Congress District 2 GOP
Brandon Martin [R]

Here are the candidates for Arizona state elected office:
State Senator District 14 DEM
Bob Karp [D]

State Senator District 14 GOP
David Gowan [R]

State Representative District 14 DEM
Kimberly Beach-Moshetti [D]
Ronnie Maestas-Condos [D]

State Representative District 14 GOP
Gail Griffin [R]
Becky Nutt [R]

Each candidate was contacted by a representative of the Friends of the San Pedro River using the correspondence shown below:

Candidate Positions on the Future of the San Pedro River

To Candidate …

The purpose of this letter is to respectfully request that you describe your position on issues and actions that will impact the future of the San Pedro River. We are in a time when major changes are occurring in our area, e.g., border wall construction, groundwater overdraft, and further development of housing and agriculture. Debate is ongoing over exactly what should be done and how to mitigate the impact of actions now underway. We would like to know where you and other candidates for office stand on these issues. 

The Friends of the San Pedro River (FSPR), founded in 1987, is a volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of the river through advocacy, education, and interpretation. Our intent is to publish the responses we receive to these questions to our members and through media outlets to the public. The goal is to provide information for voters this fall as they consider which candidates they will support.

The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area is federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. It was set aside by Congressional act in 1988 to protect the gallery forest along the river, scarce aquatic and other native habitats, wildlife corridors, and cultural history sites. Recent developments threaten those values – groundwater pumping, encroachment, and barriers to wildlife movement.

Here are our questions:

1. How do you envision the upper San Pedro River (from the border to St. David) ten years from now? This entails recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat, scenic landscapes, and natural and cultural resource protection?

2. What measures do you favor to avoid aquifer depletion that otherwise would degrade the river’s surface flow and the wildlife habitat that relies on that flow and underlying groundwater?

3. There is widespread concern that the border wall project has been conducted with inadequate public engagement, analysis of alternatives, and environmental impact assessment.  Moreover, there are concerns that it will disrupt wildlife corridors and dispersal of large fauna including jaguars, ocelots, puma, bears, and deer. Will you speak out for greater Congressional oversight, public input, transparency and accountability on the part of the federal government before it embarks on such projects? 

Please respond to the Friends of the San Pedro River at by 31 August 2020.