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Author Archive

Judith Meyer

Judith Meyer is a retired lawyer and currently a Court-Appointed Special Advocate for children in the Child Protective Services system. Judith has served on the boards of the Tucson Mountains Association (TMA), the Opening Minds through the Arts Foundation, as well as the Pima County Parks and Recreation Commission. Judith is also an avid hiker and sings with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus. We recently asked Judith to share her thoughts about the work of the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection: 

I learned about the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and the Coalition’s work to promote the Plan’s goals while researching Tucson as a possible place to live in 2004. I learned also about TMA and its effort to have Pima County voters issue bonds to purchase open land for the Sweetwater Preserve. I was enormously impressed by the wisdom of the people of this community when they voted to spend their tax dollars to preserve fragile wildlife habitat and the flora and fauna it supports. But it was not until years after I moved here, when I became president of TMA, that I began to regularly read about the Coalition’s ongoing advocacy work.. The Coalition’s work epitomizes the best sort of advocacy: gentle persuasion, relentlessly applied, utilizing the scientific and political expertise of many segments of the community. Each time I read a letter from the Coalition on a current issue before one of the governmental bodies, I find it impressively researched and written.

“Coalition’s work epitomizes the best sort of advocacy.”

I have no doubt that protecting our natural desert environment, and therefore the wildlife it supports, promotes the physical, emotional and financial health of the Tucson community’s residents.  The Coalition’s diligent work is crucial as a balance to the ever-present pressure to develop more of our open space, rather than rebuild and improve already-developed areas. Given the difficult economic climate likely to prevail in America for some years to come, it is often too easy for politicians to promote short-sighted economic recovery options put forth by corporate and development interests, over the healthier long-term interests of continually improving our city’s core while preserving natural land in the city’s surrounding areas. The Coalition brings together many segments of the community, from the birders and bikers, horseback riders and hikers, to wildlife scientists and geologists, to form a large and therefore more powerful political force as a counterbalance.

“I have no doubt that protecting our desert promotes the physical, emotional, and financial health of our residents.”

When I worked on a citizen’s committee related to the Pima County Wastewater Reclamation Department, I learned about mistakes attributable, at least in part, to the City and the County failing to plan and work together on issues concerning our natural resources.  The Coalition has helped to focus the attention of local governments and other segments of the broader Tucson community on the importance of conservation to the health of the community. I am grateful to have this organization working towards the goals I support, and so I am happy to contribute.  Read the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, attend public meetings where the Coalition speaks, and I believe you, too, will want to support this organization.

Thank you, Judith, for your consistent support of the Coalition!

Mich Coker

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Mich Coker lives in Tucson and is a lawyer working for Arizona-based Farhang & Medcoff. Moving from Mississippi, Mich came to southern Arizona to attend law school and quickly fell in love with the area due to the beautiful natural environment and the amazing outdoor recreational opportunities. Mich is a self-described “birder, general nature geek, avid soccer player and world traveler.” As an enthusiastic and experienced birder, Mich joined the Tucson Audubon Society’s Board of Directors in 2005 and soon became familiar with the work of the Coalition. He recently shared his thoughts with us about the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection:

Why do you believe in the work of the Coalition?

The Coalition’s work is critical to ensuring the long-term conservation of the Sonoran Desert’s rich diversity of species and habitats. With remarkable leadership, unyielding enthusiasm, and multidimensional know-how, the Coalition and its staff do an outstanding job of staying vigilant against potential threats to our regional environment. Moreover, they routinely demonstrate mastery in bringing together various stakeholders to negotiate creative solutions to complex problems.

How is the Coalition prepared to face future challenges?

With a burgeoning population placing ever-increasing demands on limited resources, the Coalition plays an important role in fighting to preserve the ecological integrity of the Sonoran Desert. It is actively engaged with myriad issues ranging from regional transportation and urban sprawl to water conservation and wildlife corridors.

Why do you give to the Coalition?

I support the Coalition because it consistently produces great results against often-overwhelming odds. Whenever I donate my time or my money to the Coalition, I can always be confident that my contributions are going directly towards preserving the biological diversity and natural beauty of our fragile Sonoran Desert surroundings.

Rosemont Mine Comment Deadline Extended

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Have you thought to yourself, “What can I do about the proposed Rosemont mine?”

Now that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) has been released, you can help by submitting comments on the DEIS! Your voice is so important in this process – the Forest Service needs to hear from our communities!

The DEIS for the proposed Rosemont mine can be downloaded at http://www.rosemonteis.us/draft-eis

Written comments on the DEIS due by January 31, 2012!

Comments may be submitted online at: www.RosemontEIS.us
By email at: CoronadoNF@RosemontEIS.us
By phone at: (888) 654-6646
By mail at: Rosemont Comments, P.O. Box 4207, Logan, UT 84323.

Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) resources

Problems with DEIS_SIA.pdf
Sky Island Alliance compiled this list of key issues regarding water quality/quantity, springs, seeps, riparian habitats, air quality, cultural resources, dark skies, transportations, reclamation

Rosemont Impacts Summary_SIA.pdf
Sky Island Alliance compiled this list of significant issues related to the proposed Rosemont Mine and a brief summary of impacts, as determined by the U.S. Forest Service and discussed in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) Executive Summary.

Tips on Preparing Comments_SIA.pdf
Sky Island Alliance prepared this document to help you write your comments on the DEIS. It includes a sample letter.

DEIS talking points.pdf
A few key facts about the proposed Rosemont Mine and the contents of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), including page numbers corresponding to areas of concern within the DEIS

DEIS index of areas of concern and tips.pdf
An index of areas of concern within the DEIS and a few tips on writing good comments

DEIS summary of areas of concern.pdf
A 10-pg document with a short summary of each area of concern within the DEIS

Friends of the Desert #42

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View/download our newsletter here, Friends of the Desert #42. (must have Adobe Reader installed to view)

If you would like to receive a hardcopy of our newsletter sign up on the left hand side of your screen, or contact the Coalition office at 520-388-9925.

 

Highway Cleanup a Success!

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On October 1st, twelve outstanding volunteers joined with Coalition staff to pick up trash along north Oracle Road between mileposts 83 and 84. This section of the road encompasses two of the three wildlife crossings that are slated for construction beginning in 2013. The roadway had been neglected for quite a while and needed a lot of work to make it clean again. Our volunteers filled 25(!) bags full of trash in just two hours! We were also saddened to find several instances of roadkill during the cleanup and know that the wildlife crossings can’t come soon enough. Our next cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, January 7, 2012. Please come out and join us as we continue our stewardship of the Oracle Road wildlife crossings!

October 19th, 2011 eNewsletter

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***The Forest Service has just announced that this Saturday’s meeting has been postponed.
See Arizona Daily Star article here.***
Email not displaying correctly? View it on our website.
Coalition for  Sonoran Desert  Protection
The Forest Service Needs Your Comments About the Impacts of the Proposed Rosemont Mine

You now have the opportunity to comment on the adverse environmental and economic impacts of the proposed Rosemont Mine in the Santa Rita Mountains. The Forest Service has just released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed mine.

"Now is the time for Arizonans to let the Forest Service know why we oppose the mine."

“This is a crucial opportunity for public engagement that could lead to the Forest Service requiring more studies before it decides whether to allow Rosemont to destroy more than 3,500 acres of public lands,” says Gayle Hartmann, president of Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, a broad-based citizen’s group opposed to the mining project and member of the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection.

At the end of the 90-day comment period, the Forest Service will consider these comments and address them prior to issuing the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

Making it Easy to Comment!
Comment Writing Workshop: Nov 16th, 6:30pm

Grace St. Paul Episcopal Church, 2331 E Adams

In addition to the Forest Service sponsored public meetings (see list at right) Save the Scenic Santa Ritas will be holding a series of workshops to help people write comments. The first of these workshops will be on Wed, Nov. 16, 6:30 p.m. at Grace St. Paul Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams (4 blocks N. of  Speedway, between Campbell and Tucson, parking on street and behind the church).

***The October 22nd and January 7th meetings will be rescheduled***

Rosemont DEIS Public Meeting Schedule
***revised***

November 12, 2011, 1pm to 5pm
Palo Verde High School, 1302 S. Avenida Vega, Tucson, AZ

November 19, 2011, 1pm to 5pm
Empire High School, 10701 E. Mary Ann Cleveland Way, Tucson, AZ

December 7, 2011, 5:30pm to 8pm
Benson High School, 360 S. Patagonia Street, Benson, AZ

December 10, 2011, 1pm to 5pm
Elgin Elementary School, HC1 Box 36, Elgin, AZ

More information at:
www.rosemonteis.us
www.savethescenicsantaritas.org

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Would You Rather Ride a Train to Phoenix?

Your feedback is needed to shape the future of transportation in Arizona. Federal and state transportation agencies are preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for high capacity transit options (e.g. rail) between Tucson and Phoenix.

The EIS will identify and analyze elements of the natural, built, and social environment that may be affected by the proposed project. The agencies will assess the potential range of impacts that could occur in each corridor being considered.

Are there aspects of the environment that should be analyzed in the EIS? This current scoping period is the best time for you to provide feedback.

Find out more and fill out the questionnaire at http://azdot.gov/intercityrail/

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Public Meetings to Comment on Tucson Water Service Area Policy

One of the policy outcomes of the City/County Water and Wastewater Study was the City’s formal adoption of a Water Service Area Policy in August of 2010. The Water Service Area Policy establishes a water service boundary for Tucson Water based on economic, social and environmental considerations as recommended in the Study.

The City is in the process of conducting its first annual review of the Policy to determine if refinements are needed. City staff and Tucson Water’s Citizens Water Advisory Committee (CWAC) are requesting public and stakeholder comment as part of this review process. Comments may be provided in the following ways:

1. Review information on the Water Service Area Policy website and submit comments electronically..

2. Attend either of two public meetings to hear a presentation on the Policy, ask questions of staff, and provide comments.

Thursday, October 20, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Ward 6 Council Office Conference Room, 3202 E. 1st Street
OR
Monday, October 24
, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Mesquite Room at Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way

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Native Seeds/SEARCH Joins Our Coalition!

The Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection is pleased to announce the addition of a new member group, Native Seeds/SEARCH. With this latest addition, our Coalition now represents 40 international, national, and local environmental and community organizations. Our member groups contribute expertise and experience and strengthen our ability to advocate for the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and habitat conservation planning efforts across the region.

Upcoming Events (more information on all events at www.nativeseeds.org):

SEED SCHOOL – October 30th – November 4, 2011 at the NS/S Conservation Center – 3584 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ
Join NS/S Executive Director Bill McDorman and special guests for a 6-day immersion into a new regional and sustainable seed production and distribution system. Seed School is for gardeners, farmers, herbalists, nurseries, CSAs, nonprofits, government agencies and anyone else concerned with regional, sustainable and diverse agriculture

GRAIN SCHOOL – January 8th – 13th, 2012 at the NS/S Conservation Center – 3584 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ
Grain School is the important link in our transition to a more local and sustainable food system. Scaling your operation to a manageable size, sourcing, planting, growing, harvesting, cleaning, storage and milling will all be addressed. Learn the history, philosophy and genetics as well as the practical applications of growing, harvesting and milling heritage grains.

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DonateNow
Your donation will go directly to ensuring that Sonoran Desert habitat planning efforts use the best science available to identify and preserve lands, to protect critical habitats and to direct development to less biologically sensitive areas.

Like Us on Facebook!

facebook.com/sonorandesertprotection

Our Mission
The Coalition’s mission is to achieve the long-term conservation of the biological diversity and ecological function of the
Sonoran Desert through comprehensive land-use planning, with primary emphasis on Pima County’s Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.

Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection | 300 E University Blvd #120 | Tucson, AZ 85705 | 520-388-9925

Unsubscribe from this list by visiting this page or simply by emailing admin@sonorandesert.org with your request.

September 29th, 2011 eNewsletter

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Coalition for Sonoran Desert  Protection
Help Count Animals & Plants at Saguaro National Park
October 21st-22nd

Bio Blitz

Public Registration for the 2011 Saguaro BioBlitz inventory teams is now open! You are invited to join scientists in the field to find and identify species that live in Saguaro National Park during the BioBlitz on October 21-22, 2011.

Online registration can be found at Saguaro Cactuswww.nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz. Due to limited space on inventory teams, advance registration is required to ensure a spot on a team. Teams will be located in both east and west districts of the park, and check-in may take place in field stations where appropriate. This information will be available on the registration site.

Registration will close on October 13, 2011.

More information at:
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/field/projects/bioblitz/
http://www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm

Today in the News!

Painted Hills: Court Upholds City of Tucson’s Water Service Area
The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that Tucson is not legally obligated to serve water to a proposed subdivision in the Painted Hills in the Tucson Mountains.

Read more…

Pima County Denies Rosemont Mine’s Air Quality Permit
County says Rosemont failed to provide information showing it could comply with state and federal air quality regulations

Read more…

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Oracle Road Wildlife Crossings Highway Cleanup
This Saturday, Oct. 1, email gabe.wigtil@sonorandesert.org to help!
Oracle Rd Wildlife Crossing Location
The Coalition has adopted Oracle Road / State Route 77 from milepost 83 to 84, as part of the Adopt-A-Highway campaign. This section of the road encompasses two of the three wildlife crossings that are slated for construction in 2013. Our first cleanup is this Saturday, from 7am~10am. If you can help for all or any portion of the time, please let us know. We will provide breakfast foods, snacks, and water to refill your water bottles.
This is a great opportunity to check out the crossing locations firsthand and to get all the up-to-date information about the progress of the wildlife crossings! We will also be on the lookout for signs of wildlife to document their use of the area.
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Sky Island Alliance Speaker Series Continues
TONIGHT! 7:30pm at Zuzi! at the Historic Y, 738 N 5th Ave, FREE!

Author Ken Lamberton shares his knowledge of and passion for this magnificent place we all call home! View event poster. 

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DonateNow
Your donation will go directly to ensuring that Sonoran Desert habitat planning efforts use the best science available to identify and preserve lands, to protect critical habitats and to direct development to less biologically sensitive areas.

Like Us on Facebook!

facebook.com/sonorandesertprotection

Our Mission
The Coalition’s mission is to achieve the long-term conservation of the biological diversity and ecological function of the
Sonoran Desert through comprehensive land-use planning, with primary emphasis on Pima County’s Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.

Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection | 300 E University Blvd #120 | Tucson, AZ 85705 | 520-388-9925

Unsubscribe from this list by visiting this page or simply by emailing admin@sonorandesert.org with your request.

Oracle Rd Wildlife Crossings Highway Cleanup – Oct. 1st

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Oracle Rd Wildlife Crossings Highway Cleanup
October 1st
Oracle Rd Wildlife Crossing Location

Email gabe.wigtil@sonorandesert.org to help!

The Coalition has adopted Oracle Road / State Route 77 from milepost 83 to 84, as part of the Adopt-A-Highway campaign. This section of the road encompasses two of the three wildlife crossings that are slated for construction beginning in 2013. We were successful in obtaining the funding to construct these three crossings and want to demonstrate our stewardship for the area with regular highway cleanups. The area has been neglected for some time, so we need lots of help with our first cleanup!

Our first cleanup will be on October 1st, from 7am until we finish our one mile stretch of road, which we estimate should last no more than 2 hours. If you can help for all or any portion of the time, please let us know. We will provide breakfast foods, snacks, and water to refill your water bottles. More details once you sign up!

This is a great opportunity to check out the crossing locations firsthand and to get all the up-to-date information about the progress of the wildlife crossings! We will also be on the lookout for signs of wildlife to document their use of the area. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions.


Email gabe.wigtil@sonorandesert.org to help!

Saguaro National Park BioBlitz

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Saguaro National Park BioBlitz
October 21st-22nd
Bio Blitz

Join National Geographic and the National Park Service, together with Friends of Saguaro National Park and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, for the Saguaro National Park BioBlitz, October 21-22, 2011!

Public Registration for the 2011 Saguaro BioBlitz inventory teams is now open! You are invited to join scientists in the field to find and identify species that live in Saguaro National Park during the BioBlitz on October 21-22, 2011.
Online registration can be found at www.nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz. Due to limited space on inventory teams, advance registration is required to ensure a spot on a team. Teams will be located in both east and west districts of the park, and check-in may take place in field stations where appropriate. Registration closes on October 13, 2011.
 

August e-Alert

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Coalition for Sonoran Desert  Protection
Where’s El Lobo? Contest
September 3rd-17th

Where's Lobo Contest Logo

Defenders of Wildlife, one of our 40 member groups, is hosting a fun and educational city-wide scavenger hunt, starting this weekend.

El Lobo is taking over Tucson for two weeks from September 3rd through the 17th. Fifty pieces of original art—beautiful dark silhouettes representing the last Mexican gray wolves living in the wild—can be found on the outside of businesses and buildings throughout the city to raise awareness for these amazing animals.

Join the citywide scavenger hunt and you could win a FREE 6-day, 5-night Apache Wilderness Journey (a $3,000 value). This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness Apache culture up close and perhaps even hear or see Mexican wolves in the wild! 

More info at www.whereslobo.org.

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Saguaro National Park BioBlitz
October 21st-22nd
Bio Blitz

Join National Geographic and the National Park Service, together with Friends of Saguaro National Park and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, for the Saguaro National Park BioBlitz, October 21-22, 2011!

The BioBlitz is a unique combination of taxonomic inventory, public outreach, and science education. Meaning, your help is needed to count every living thing in the park, in 24 hours.

Volunteers are needed to make the event a success. Click here to see available opportunities. The National Park Service will be refining volunteer needs, so please continue to check if you don’t find a good fit for your skills.  Email Saguaro National Park for more information or call 520-733-8603. Hope you can help with the Saguaro BioBlitz!

More information at:

Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run
September 5th – Registration ends TONIGHT!

Saguaro Labor Day Run

The Coalition is honored to once again be a beneficiary of this event. This race features 8-mile and 5k courses looping through a cactus forest in the foothills of the scenic Rincon Mountains at Saguaro National Park East.

The 5k is full, but there are still spots available for the 8 mile run. Hurry however, registration ends TONIGHT at 9pm.

Click here for more information and to register to run! Lots of prizes and awards for participants, plus a great way to experience Saguaro National Park!

If you are running in the race, please stop by our table, say "hello," pick up some of our materials, and make a donation to help us match the generous gift from the Southern Arizona Roadrunners.

DonateNow

Our supporters have been challenged to match the donation from the Southern Arizona Roadrunners. Please donate now to meet this challenge!

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Oracle Rd Wildlife Crossings
Highway Cleanup

October 1st

Oracle Rd Wildlife Crossing Location

The Coalition has adopted Oracle Road / State Route 77 from milepost 83 to 84, as part of the Adopt-A-Highway campaign. This section of the road encompasses two of the three wildlife crossings that are slated for construction in 2013. We were successful in obtaining funding to construct these three crossings and want to demonstrate our stewardship for the area with regular highway cleanups. The area has been neglected for some time, so we need lots of help with our first cleanup!

Our first cleanup will be on October 1st, from 7am until we finish our one mile stretch of road, which we estimate to last no more than 2 hours. If you can help for all or any portion of the time, please let us know. We will provide breakfast foods, snacks, and water to refill your water bottles. More details to come.

This is a great opportunity to check out the crossing locations firsthand and to get all the up-to-date information about the progress of the wildlife crossings! We will also be on the lookout for signs of wildlife to document their use of the area.

DonateNow
Your donation will go directly to ensuring that Sonoran Desert habitat planning efforts use the best science available to identify and preserve lands, to protect critical habitats and to direct development to less biologically sensitive areas.

Like Us on Facebook!

facebook.com/sonorandesertprotection

Our Mission
The Coalition’s mission is to achieve the long-term conservation of the biological diversity and ecological function of the
Sonoran Desert through comprehensive land-use planning, with primary emphasis on Pima County’s Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.

Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection | 300 E University Blvd #120 | Tucson, AZ 85705 | 520-388-9925

Unsubscribe from this list by visiting this page or simply by emailing admin@sonorandesert.org with your request.