Letter to Editor: Plan for Prosperity

Read the FSPR Letter to the Editor in response to the City of Sierra Vista’s Plan for Prosperity which labels the San Pedro River a threat:

To the Editor of the SV Herald, 

I would like to take this opportunity to applaud the Sierra Vista Herald for its series of articles on FINDING BALANCE. These articles are very timely given the local interest in issues of population growth and protection of our natural resources, not to mention the inescapable tension between achieving both. I found the part I article “FINDING BALANCE: Reaching zero deficit is the first goal” very informative and balanced. The public needs to be aware of the controversy over the Arizona Dept of Water Resources (ADWR) issuing a certificate of water adequacy for Pueblo del Sol Water Company to supply water to the proposed Tribute development. Given the existing, decades-long overdraft of the aquifer, compounded by the continuing annual deficit from current groundwater pumping, the future of the San Pedro River is far from certain. There are many water conservation measures and mitigation projects in the works, but some of these will take years to implement. And even after they are implemented, it is not certain that they will achieve the desired zero deficit… particularly if large-scale housing development takes off again. 

The Sierra Vista Herald has provided a fine example of balance. Hopefully, our civic leaders will find the same balance to achieve a sustainable future for our community. Sadly, their plan for prosperity considers the San Pedro River a threat even while claiming tourism is an opportunity. Yet tourism involving the great outdoors including the canyons of our sky islands and the river is one of this area’s greatest assets, one that receives national and even global recognition. With awareness of the value that the river represents, including its economic value through ecotourism, we hope that citizens in our community will rally around the opportunity that the City of Sierra Vista has to be THE “Gateway City” to the natural, historic, and cultural treasures of Cochise County. 

Robert Weissler
Executive Director, Friends of the San Pedro River