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Buffelgrass workday on April 4th

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The Coalition is once again joining forces with the Catalina State Park Buffel Slayers for one last workday of the season. On April 4th, we will be removing buffelgrass from scenic Catalina State Park. This invasive grass is a major fire threat and is destructive to the Sonoran Desert Ecosystem.

Volunteers working hard to remove buffelgrass!

Volunteers working hard to remove buffelgrass!

When: Saturday, April 4th, 7am-11am

Where: Catalina State Park. We will meet at the Equestrian Center parking lot.

Click here for a map and directions to the Park.

For this day, entrance to the Park will be free if you are volunteering to remove buffelgrass! Please bring a reusable water bottle, tools if you have them (such as a shovel), your favorite work gloves, and wear sturdy closed-toed shoes. If you don’t have tools or work glove, we have plenty of extra!

Visit the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center website for more information on buffelgrass and more volunteer opportunities.

If you have any questions, please contact Hannah at,hannah.stitzer@sonorandesert.org or at (520) 388-9925.

This is a great opportunity to protect the natural treasure that is Catalina State Park. Buffelgrass is spreading, and we need volunteers like you to ensure that the Park remains a place with stunning wildlife and pristine habitat. We hope to see you there!

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Join us March 7th to remove buffelgrass!

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Removing buffelgrass helps protect the Sonoran Desert.

Removing buffelgrass helps protect the Sonoran Desert.

Do you want to help protect the Sonoran Desert? Buffelgrass is a highly flammable invasive species that greatly alters the fragile native ecosystem. But there is something you can do to help!

On March 7th, the Coalition is partnering with the Catalina State Park Buffel Slayers for a fun and rewarding workday to remove buffelgrass.

When: Saturday, March 7th, 8am-12pm

Where: Catalina State Park. We will meet at the Equestrian Center parking lot.

Click here for a map and directions to the Park.

For this day, entrance to the Park will be free if you are volunteering to remove buffelgrass! Please bring a reusable water bottle, tools if you have them (such as a shovel), your favorite work gloves, and wear sturdy closed-toed shoes.

Click here to view a flyer. 

Visit the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center website for more information on buffelgrass and volunteer opportunities.

If you have any questions, please contact Hannah at,hannah.stitzer@sonorandesert.org or at (520) 388-9925.

This is a great opportunity to protect the natural treasure that is Catalina State Park. Buffelgrass is spreading, and we need volunteers like you to ensure that the Park remains a place with stunning wildlife and pristine habitat. We hope to see you there!

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Beat Back Buffelgrass Day a big success!

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On January 24th, 26 amazing volunteers joined us at Catalina State Park to spend the morning removing buffelgrass. We tackled a challenging slope that was infested with this invasive grass. Buffelgrass is a major fire hazard to our Sonoran Desert ecosystem and can destroy the landscape if left untreated. The Coalition proudly took part in Beat Back Buffelgrass Day, which is organized by the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center. After a morning of work, we made a notable and impressive impact on the amount of buffelgrass on the slope. Thank you to all the dedicated volunteers who accomplished this! Buffelgrass removal at this site will be an ongoing process with monitoring and more pull days.  Stay tuned for more buffelgrass removal volunteer opportunities!

    Join us on January 24th for Beat Back Buffelgrass Day!

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    Please help us remove this invasive grass on January 24th

    Please help us remove this invasive grass on January 24th. Credit to Patty Estes.

    Do you know about the dangers of buffelgrass? This invasive species is an extreme fire threat in the Sonoran Desert and greatly alters the fragile native ecosystem. But there is something you can do to help!

    On January 24th, the Coalition is taking part in Beat Back Buffelgrass Day (BBBGD) at scenic Catalina State Park. Headed by the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center (SABCC), BBBGD is an opportunity for members from the community to travel to a number of sites to remove buffelgrass and help protect our natural environment.

    When: Saturday, January 24, 8am-12pm

    Where: Catalina State Park. We will meet at the Equestrian Center parking lot.

    For this day, entrance to the Park will be free if you are volunteering to remove buffelgrass. Please bring a reusable water bottle, tools if you have them (such as a shovel), your favorite work gloves, and wear sturdy closed-toed shoes.

    Click here for more information and to register.

    If you have any questions, please contact Hannah at,hannah.stitzer@sonorandesert.org or at (520) 388-9925.

    This is a great opportunity to protect the natural treasure that is Catalina State Park. Buffelgrass is spreading, and we need volunteers like you to ensure that the Park remains a place with stunning wildlife and pristine habitat. We hope to see you there!

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    Save the date: January 22nd is Environmental Lobby Day

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    Can you join us on January 22, 2015 for Environmental Lobby Day? On this day, environmental advocates from throughout the state, new and experienced, will be gathering at the Arizona State Capitol to meet with state legislators to express support for clean air, clean water, land conservation, and more. Come be part of one of our teams!

    State Capitol

    Don’t miss this fun and informative day on January 22nd!

    Everyone will be part of a team with an experienced leader and will be meeting with his or her own legislators, whenever possible. You can come for an hour or two or stay all day. It is a great opportunity to learn more about the legislative process and current state issues and to make a difference.

    When: Thursday, January 22, 2015 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

    Where: Arizona State Capitol Old Senate Chambers, 2nd Floor
    1700 W. Washington, Phoenix. Click here for a location map.

    Need a ride? We will have a bus traveling from Tucson to Phoenix and back. We will leave From the Historic Y (738 N. 5th Ave) at 6am and will return no later than 6pm. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. Email Hannah at hannah.stitzer@sonorandesert.org or call the Coalition office at (520) 388-9925 if you want to reserve a seat.

    Want to prepare? We have a Citizen Lobby Workshop scheduled for January 7th at the Historic Y conference room from 5:30-7:30pm. This is a great chance to learn more about citizen lobbying and to prepare to meet with your legislators. Please RSVP to Hannah at hannah.stitzer@sonorandesert.org if you can join us for this informative evening event.

    Environmental Lobby Day is a fun and educational opportunity to meet your state legislators, and past participants have said what a meaningful and worthwhile experience this has been for them.

    To get involved, contact Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 or sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org. You can also RSVP below. We hope to see you there!

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    You truly made a difference on November 7th!

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    November 7th was a very important date for open space conservation in Pima County. This was the date when the bond committee was set to decide on the funding allocation for open space purchases in the 2015 bond election. $120 million was the proposed amount, but the bond committee  was considering reducing this funding.

    open space bond

    Community supporters filled the hall to support open space.

    In the face of this potential threat of reduced funds for open space, the community took action. Hundreds of residents rallied together by writing letters and packing the meeting hall to demonstrate support for a fully funded bond package and the protection of open space. With over 200 people in attendance, the community presence was overwhelming. When the audience was asked to stand to support $120 million, the impact was enormous.

    We did it!

    Thanks to community support,  the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee voted to recommend $120 million for Open Space in the next bond election.

    This is a huge victory for open space, wildlife, and our quality of life! This will provide more adequate funding for open space purchases to expand Tortolita Mountain Park, important riparian areas, and sensitive wildlife habitat. Community support made this victory possible, and the impact will have lasting benefits for Sonoran Desert conservation.

    Susan Shobe

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    I grew up in Tucson and southeast Arizona; my kids are now 3rd generation at their public school here.  My heart beams to hear my kids exclaim, “Look at the vegetation!!” after a desert rain, or “The hawks have left the nest!!”, or “Dad, you need to put more sugar water out for the hummingbirds.”  We are a part of this desert and this community, and it is a part of us. Susan Shobe

    I’ve been a long-time supporter of the Coalition because I’ve been inspired by the work they’ve accomplished in protecting our vanishing wild desert areas. They truly are a coalition—building relationships and working with others to find common ground while holding true to the mission of protecting habitats that will sustain the full range of our native species to the greatest extent possible.  Their work reminds us again and again what is best about Pima County, and that the hard work and dedication to saving it really can pay off.

    “We are a part of this desert and this community, and it is a part of us.”

    When my husband and I had our 2nd child, we decided to become monthly donors—we find it easier to budget in a small amount each month rather than to part with a large sum at once, and it provides more certainty that we are able to meet our heart’s desire to contribute when finances are tight.  We actually contribute more now, because it’s all in small increments.  We are happy to have this option that allows us to continue to support the Coalition’s great work, and we encourage all families or others on a small or fluctuating budget to consider this option.

    Prop 122: Just a Bad Idea!

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    Prop 122 could threaten endangered species like this beautiful ocelot photographed in the Santa Rita mountains. Courtesy of USFWS,UA/DHS

    Prop 122 could threaten endangered species like this beautiful ocelot photographed in the Santa Rita mountains. Courtesy of USFWS/UA/DHS

    Federal laws have long been important to protect our environment. Laws such as the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act have all been essential to maintaining the integrity of the natural environment around us. However, Prop 122, on the ballot on November 4th, could put all of this in jeopardy. Put simply, if passed, Prop 122 would give Arizona the right to declare that specific federal laws or regulations are unconstitutional. It would then be illegal for Cities, Towns, Counties, and other jurisdictions to use personnel, funds, or resources to support a federal law that the State has deemed unconstitutional.

    For instance, imagine the trouble vulnerable wildlife would be in if Arizona refused to comply with the Endangered Species Act. This would cripple years of effort Pima County has invested in working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create its Multi-Species Conservation Plan, which is nearing completion.

    Prop 122 is a bad idea for the environment, and could get Arizona into a bad financial situation. A description of Prop 122 from the Legislative Council is as follows:

     

    Proposition 122 would amend the Arizona Constitution to confirm that the state and federal government are subject to the United States Constitution.

    Proposition 122 also would provide that Arizona may restrict the actions of its

    personnel and the use of its financial resources to purposes that are consistent with the

    United States Constitution by passing an initiative, referendum or bill or by pursuing any

    other available legal remedy. The state, counties, cities, towns and other political

    subdivisions of the state would be prohibited from using any personnel or financial

    resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with a federal action or program if the

    people or their representatives have exercised their authority to restrict such action or use.

     

    We need your help spreading the word by putting up “Vote No on 122” signs! If you are able to help put these signs up around the community, please contact Hannah at, hannah.stitzer@sonorandesert.org or call our office at (520) 388-9925.

    We urge you to vote NO on Prop 122 on November 4th. There is simply too much at stake to risk the degradation of our environment and the health of our rare and unique Sonoran Desert wildlife. Residents and visitors alike love and treasure the Sonoran Desert, and we need to make sure it remains protected for residents, visitors, and future generations.

    View the ballot measure here.

    View the No on 122 website.

    View a short video on why to vote NO on Prop 122.

    View the Coalition’s argument against Prop 122.

    Tucson Weekly also urges voters to vote NO on Prop 122.

    Read this opinion piece against Prop 122 in the Arizona Daily Star.