The Bureau of Land Management has notified us that pruning of the two large cottonwood trees near San Pedro House will begin Monday, October 16, and will require that San Pedro House and the surrounding area be closed to the public for up to three weeks.
Saturday River Walks scheduled for October 21 and 28 have been cancelled. The Bird Walks scheduled for October 28 and November 1 have also been canceled.
Please consider visiting some of the other recreation areas in the SPRNCA during this period, such as Millville, Fairbank, and Murray Springs.
History walks scheduled October 21 at Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate and October 28 at Grand Central Mill will not be affected by this closure. We hope to see you there!
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.
The BLM will host a public meeting from 6:00 to 8:00 PM on May 19th at their Sierra Vista office, 4070 S Avenida Saracino, Hereford AZ. The public is invited to hear and comment on the four alternatives that have been identified for consideration in the updated San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA) Resource Management Plan (RMP) that is under development. For more information, contact the BLM Public Affairs Specialist, Adam Milnor, at (520) 258-7223.
The Friends of the San Pedro River urge you to attend to voice your support for continued preservation of our precious riparian area with its rich wildlife habitat and unique cultural resources.
A beaver on the San Pedro River
Mike Foster and the FSPR Education Committee recently completed the video “Return of the Beaver to the San Pedro River” which is available on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/84733621. Check it out!
Join us on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at Fairbank Historic Townsite starting at 8 AM for National Public Lands Day. Click the link above to see the flyer for further information.
Volunteers, have you already submitted a BLM Volunteer Service Agreement form?
If you haven’t already completed and signed a volunteer form since October 2013, the Board of Directors of Friends of the San Pedro River (FSPR) and our BLM partners would like all volunteers to submit a signed Volunteer Services Agreement annually to FSPR (who will send it on to BLM). To do so, please first read the BLM Risk Management Worksheet prepared by the BLM for FSPR volunteer activities. It is available either as an e-mail attachment or on the website or as a hardcopy which can be found at the BLM/Friends office, at San Pedro House, and at Fairbank Schoolhouse. Next, please read, complete, and sign the enclosed BLM Volunteer Service Agreement form and return it in the enclosed envelope. The volunteer agreement needs to be signed by each volunteer for Friends of the San Pedro River just once a year. It covers volunteer activities described on the form and performed on any lands managed by the BLM Tucson Field Office (TFO). Note that the FSPR Assistance Agreement and the FSPR liability insurance covers additional volunteer activities, including those not on BLM-managed lands.