Friends of the Desert #8

Friends of the Desert
E-News Issue #8
September 21, 2001
*A project of the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection*
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*Coalition/SDCP Update
*What You Can Do
*Upcoming Events

In the last 3 =BD years that the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection
has been together, we have had many successes to celebrate. Thanks to
Coalition member organizations, we have seen Pima County embark upon
the Sonoran Desert Conservation planning process =96 if successful, this
will be the most comprehensive habitat conservation plan (HCP)
anywhere in the U.S. The Ironwood Forest National Monument was
designated last year by President Clinton, preserving over 129,000
acres of federal land. We have fought back state legislation that
would have severely hampered the county efforts to implement the
Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP). And just this June, the
Board of Supervisors approved "interim conservation measures," which
will protect environmentally sensitive lands while the SDCP is in

The biological team and consultants have finished an important phase
of their work. The Science Technical Advisory Team, led by Dr.
William Shaw, has identified lands that will be identified as the
"biologically-preferred alternative" of a biological reserve system.
This is based on the habitat needs of the 56 "priority vulnerable
species" the scientists identified for protection under the SDCP.

Now, we need our conservation friends to turn up the pressure. The
public process for developing details of the Plan is now beginning in
earnest. The development community is concerned about how this Plan
will affect their pocketbooks; the environmental community wants to
ensure that the true intent of the Endangered Species Act and the
community’s stated goals for habitat and open space protection are
met; the ranchers want assurances that they can continue ranching and
preserve their way of life.


SUPPORT THE COALITION’S WORK: The Coalition for Sonoran Desert
Protection must be able to continue its work monitoring and
participating in the planning process in order to ensure that the most
scientifically sound conservation plan results from the County’s
efforts. It is equally important that we also continue to provide
information to the community through our newsletter, public forums,
and other outreach efforts. Please support the Coalition’s work and
send contributions to:
Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection
300 E. University Blvd., Ste. 120
Tucson, AZ 85705

ATTEND MEETINGS AND PARTICIPATE: Please plan on attending the monthly
meetings of the SDCP citizen Steering Committee. The next one will be
held on Saturday, October (see below). And, just as important, please
get involved in the county’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan update. The
Board of Supervisors has linked the Comprehensive Plan and the
Conservation Plan, and so we must be vigilant and vocal on both.

For more information on these meetings and how to get involved, and
for updated information on the SDCP, please go to the Coalition’s
website at, or call the Pima County
Administrator’s office at 740-8661. You can also receive the
Coalition’s monthly electronic newsletter by sending an email to Get involved and stay involved =96 the Coalition for
Sonoran Desert Protection needs your support to ensure the highest
level of desert protection through the Sonoran Desert Conservation


Saturday, October 6th
9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Downtown Public Library, basement meeting room
101 N. Stone Avenue

Come up to the beautiful Northwest side and support the town of
Tortolita in their struggle to incorporate. Tortolita encompasses
large portions of critical habitat for the Pygmy-owl and these folks
are committed to conserving what’s left of it, unlike their pesky
neighbor Marana, whose motto is "Come grow with us!"
When: September 29, 2001
Where: Arthur Pack Golf Course
Why: To raise funds to help pay the Town of Tortolita’s legal fees
Time: 4pm – 10pm
Tickets: $15 in advance; $20 at the door
Includes: Entry and Dinner
Special Attractions: 4 bands, dancing, putting contest, children’s
activities, silent auction, chance to win paid vacation to Tahiti, and
For more information please contact Chris McVie at 744-0931 or Robyn
Benson at 797-1237

Save the Ironwood Forest Rally and Walk =96 Help protect Ironwood Forest
and Arizona’s other new national monuments from mines and power lines.
Join us Saturday, October 13, at 8:00 am at Himmel Park, Tucson for a
rally and neighborhood walk to get the word out. We will be meeting
in the park, behind Himmel Library at 1035 N. Treat Blvd., one block
south of Speedway. Chuck Bowden, renowned Tucson writer and
conservationist, will be the featured speaker. After the rally, we
need your help to walk local neighborhoods. We will be distributing
doorhangers with information on how to take action to protect Ironwood
Forest and Arizona’s other spectacular monuments. Please bring water,
sunscreen, a hat and walking shoes. We will provide snacks and drinks
at the park. For more information, to R.S.V.P., or to find a carpool
to the event, contact Julie Sherman at (602) 254-0361,