Appeals court rules ADWR must consider SPRNCA water rights

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.

Vigneto.. Sustainable Groundwater Use?

VignetoCMP_comments_to_Benson_thumbProposed Vigneto Development Plan Must Address Sustainable Groundwater Use

El Dorado Benson LLC recently submitted the Final Community Master Plan for “The Villages at Vigneto” to Benson officials.  One key area of concern is the prospect of large-scale groundwater withdrawals to supply water to the proposed development. We want to ensure that the developer is committed to measures like enhanced recharge of the aquifer and xeriscape landscaping.  And we want to convince Benson officials that now is not the time to become complacent about our precious water resources.

Read the entire letter to the Benson Planning and Zoning Commission.

Does Villages at Vigneto threaten the San Pedro River?

Does the proposed Villages at Vigneto development planned for Benson pose a threat to the San Pedro River? Is groundwater pumping for the planned 27,000+ homes sustainable? Or is this a repeat of unconstrained development like that of California?

Call on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to re-evaluate impacts of this huge, prospective city-sized development that threatens to adversely impact the San Pedro River, a Global Important Bird Area, migration corridor and biodiversity hot spot.  Learn more in the Arizona Daily Star article.

Deadline approaching for comments on SPRNCA RMP alternatives

Help Ensure Good Stewardship in the SPRNCA RMP

Send Comments to BLM by Wednesday, June 10

The deadline for public comments on the Resource Management Plan alternatives is fast approaching. If you care about good stewardship of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, please take the time to send your comments to the Bureau of Land Management.

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FSPR Lecture: Springs of the Sky Islands

SIA_SpringsTalkJoin us on Thursday, November 20, 7 PM for the FSPR Lecture: Springs of the Sky Islands. Learn about the nature of springs, their importance in our region, what threatens them, and how they can be protected in this lecture presented by Carianne Campbell, Landscape Restoraton Program Manager at Sky Islands Alliance. Springs are keystone ecosystems in the Sky Island Region, exert disproportionate influence on surrounding landscapes, and are known to be biodiversity hotspots.  Hear about approaches to management of springs through adaptive planning, as well as recruiting, training and retaining volunteers involved in restoration efforts.

The lecture will take place at 4070 E Avenida Saracino in Hereford (the new BLM San Pedro Project Office on Highway 92 between Ramsey and Carr Canyon Roads). The lecture is free and open to the public.

Significant contamination not yet detected

On Thursday, September 18, mine water from Cananea, MX was reported to have spilled into the San Pedro River. Although the extent of contamination is not yet known, early unofficial reports indicate that sampling is not detecting significant contamination in the river north of the border.  We have received no official guidance from county, state or federal authorities with regard to potentially contaminated water. Needless to say, common sense dictates while the situation is being assessed and confirmed, it is wise to avoid contact with river water until sampling and authoritative reports indicate that the water is safe to drink and use.

Below you’ll find a report by Weather Nation from Palominas and the Highway 92 bridge over the San Pedro River at flood stage last Thursday. This location is just 4 miles north of the border wall. Here’s the link to the video report:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152773987604874

FSPR Lecture Series: Saving the San Pedro River

The Friends of the San Pedro River will host Steve Pawlowski, the Water Sentinels program coordinator for the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Steve Pawlowski of the Sierra Club

Steve Pawlowski of the Sierra Club

Come learn how we can use citizen science, hands-on conservation, and advocacy to help shape a more sustainable future for one of the most ecologically significant rivers of the Southwest. March 20 at 7 p.m. at the BLM/Forest Service public meeting room, 4070 E Avenida Saracino, Hereford (off Hwy. 92 between Ramsey and Carr Canyon Roads).

The lecture is free and open to the public.  For more info, call 520-459-2555 or visit www.sanpedroriver.org.

Film Festival in Bisbee March 13, 14

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On stage at the festival

On stage at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival

The Friends of the San Pedro River will host the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on March 13 and 14 at the Central School Project in Bisbee from 6 PM to 9 PM, plus a Friday afternoon Kids Program at 1 PM on March 14. Tickets are only $5 (kids under 16 enter for free when accompanied by an adult) and will be available at the door the day of the event. Bring your friends and introduce them to FSPR. Mark your calendars and plan to join us