Archive for the ‘Action Alerts’ Category
Thinking about what you can do for the environment this year? Join us for Environmental Day at the Arizona State Capitol on Wednesday, February 5, 2020. We’ve got a bus chartered to bring community members up to Phoenix for the day to meet your state legislators, see the Legislature in action, and learn more about what bills are up for debate this year.
There are two optional events scheduled to help you get ready for Environmental Day, plus Environmental Day itself. Please RSVP for any or all of them below!
1. TUESDAY, JANUARY 21: Tucson Legislative District Meeting, 6 PM – 7:30 PM at the Historic Y conference room, 738 N 5th Ave. Tucson 85705 – come out and meet your Team Leader and fellow residents in your legislative district, get an orientation to the schedule for Environmental Day, learn about current environmental bills in the legislature, and ask questions! RSVP here.
2. THURSDAY, JANUARY 30: Citizen Lobbying Workshop with Sierra Club lobbyist Sandy Bahr, 6 PM – 8 PM at the Historic Y conference room, 738 N 5th Ave. Tucson 85705 – Learn the ins and outs of the AZ State Legislature, how to be an effective citizen lobbyist, and more info on current environmental bills that we may want to talk about with our legislators. RSVP here.
3. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5 – Environmental Day! Catch a ride on our chartered bus, leaving Tucson at 6am from the Historic Y Building (738 N. 5th Ave, Tucson, 85705) and return in comfort by dinnertime. RSVP here.
If you’d like to attend any or all of these events, please use the RSVP links above, email Whelan at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (520) 388-9925.
Thanks for using your voice for the Sonoran Desert and all the wildlife of Arizona!
The Town of Marana is currently accepting public comments on its new draft General Plan – will you send the Planning and Zoning Commission a quick email today and comment on this important planning document? You can send your comments to Marana staff member Cynthia Ross at email@example.com.
If you’d like to access the full draft Marana General Plan, it can be found HERE.
We’ve drafted some talking points below if you want some guidance on what to say. We know these types of planning documents can be cumbersome and time-consuming to review. However, they are really important in how they inform local government decisions around issues such as protecting open spaces and wildlife linkages; guide the locations of new developments and roads; and shape how our communities plan for future growth.
THANK YOU for using your voice to protect open spaces and wildlife in Marana!
SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS FOR THE DRAFT MARANA GENERAL PLAN:
1. The Tortolita Preserve needs to be identified on all Town maps. The General Plan is a 10-year document and there is an 81-year period left in the lease agreement. If the Town feels that it cannot be labeled “Preserve” due to perceived requirements dictated by the Arizona State Land Department, then the land should be, at a minimum, delineated on maps and labeled as “Open Space Park.”
2. Given the investment that the Town of Marana has already made into a variety of environmental planning documents (such as a Draft Habitat Conservation Plan, the Tres Rios del Norte Feasibility Study, the Santa Cruz River Corridor Study, and the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan), the Town should be developing its proposed Open Space and Wildlife Conservation Plan concurrently with the General Plan. Resource protection and conservation need to be integrated with land use plans, not viewed as an unrelated goal or addendum.
3. Wildlife connectivity open space across Tangerine Road needs to be protected and buffered. Wildlife crossings have been installed along Tangerine Road at public expense (by the Regional Transportation Authority) and need to function as they are intended. Without adequate buffers, wildlife is unlikely to use these crossings. In addition, Prospect Wash wildlife connectivity across Tangerine Road and Moore Road needs to be preserved as Natural Undisturbed Open Space and buffered appropriately. In addition to Tangerine Road, open space is necessary across Moore Road in order for wildlife movement to continue to the Tortolita Preserve and on to the Tortolita Mountains.
4. Various maps, including Future Land Use and Future Circulation, depict a new interstate, Interstate 11, running west of the Tucson Mountains. Given the current planning timeline for Interstate 11 and the fact that a Preferred Alternative Route has not been chosen, please delete the route and both spurs back to Interstate 10 from these maps. The construction of Interstate 11 is well outside of the planning horizon for this General Plan, whether Interstate 11 ends up being built as an I-10 bypass west of the Tucson Mountains or at all.
5. While many of the implementation actions listed in the Resources and Sustainability tables, if adopted and followed, will help mitigate the on-going effects of climate change, an action should be added that will “develop and implement a Climate Resilience and Emergency Readiness Plan.”
Feel free to use any or all of these talking points in your comments, or use them as guides and put them into your own voice.
The Marana Planning & Zoning Commission is holding a public hearing on Wednesday, November 20, at 6pm at the Marana Municipal Complex, 11555 W. Civic Center Dr, Marana, AZ, 85653. Please consider attending in person and giving your comments verbally. Each person will be given 3 minutes to speak.
The Marana Town Council will also be holding a public hearing on Tuesday, December 10 at 6pm at the Marana Municipal Complex, 11555 W. Civic Center Dr, Marana, AZ, 85653. Again, each person will be given 3 minutes to speak. If the Town Council approves the draft General Plan at that meeting, it will then go to Marana voters for approval.
Our full set of comments that we have submitted to the Marana Planning & Zoning Commission can be found on our website HERE.
Thank you again for using YOUR voice on behalf of the people and wildlife of the Sonoran Desert.
On Friday, September 27, 2019, the Coalition submitted detailed comments on Marana’s latest draft General Plan, called “Make Marana.” To view the comment letter we submitted, head HERE.
There are currently two open public surveys that are looking for your input!
1. Pima County is looking for your input on floodprone areas near where you live and work. “The survey only takes a few minutes,” Floodplain Management Division Manager Brian Jones said. “People know of some high-risk spots for flooding and erosion in their areas that the District doesn’t know about. We want to know all of them. We also want opinions on how the public wants us to manage flood risks.” Please head over to the survey and share your views!
2. The City of Tucson would like your input on a proposed program and fee to provide additional stormwater management services in the community. To learn more about the proposal and provide feedback via a brief survey, which is open for feedback until the end of August, visit:
Thanks for sharing your views with both Pima County and the City of Tucson to help improve our region’s floodplain management and stormwater management.
On July 4, 2019, the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, and additional signatories representing 27 community and environmental organizations, submitted comments on the Tier 1 Interstate 11 Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Nogales to Wickenburg.
The full comment letter can be found HERE.
Still haven’t submitted YOUR comments on the I-11 DEIS? There’s still time! The comment deadline is still 4 days away on Monday, July 8.
You can submit public comments in multiple ways, including:
Phone: 1.844.544.8049 (bilingüe)
I-11 Tier 1 EIS Study Team c/o ADOT Communications
1655 W. Jackson Street
Mail Drop 126F
Phoenix, AZ 85007
For more information on this issue to help inform your comments, head to our Take Action Webpage.
Thank you for using your voice for the people and wildlife of the Sonoran Desert!
Our adopted one-mile stretch of road includes the new Oracle Road wildlife underpass. This is a fun way to meet fellow like-minded conservationists, get some exercise, and beautify one of our roadways, all with the spectacular backdrop of the Santa Catalina Mountains. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
When: Saturday April 6, 2019
Meeting Place: See map link below.
What to bring: Sun hat, water bottle, closed toed shoes, we’ll provide bags, gloves, and garbage grabbers.
For more information or questions email Whelan at email@example.com
The wildflowers along our adopted stretch of Oracle Rd are outrageous in all the best ways. Help us to help them by picking up some garbage April 6th!
Noise, glare, and vibration
would be the new calling card
The Endangered Species Act is under assault in Congress and we need your help!
A new Farm Bill package just passed out of the House Agricultural Committee and will be going to the full House for a vote soon. This bill contains a provision allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to approve pesticides without analyzing the risks they pose to endangered species.
Will you contact your Representative and express your opposition to any version of the Farm Bill that damages the Endangered Species Act or our National Forests?
Here is some more detailed background information on this Farm Bill package, courtesy of Coalition member group the Center for Biological Diversity:
“Buried in the many-thousand-page bill (H.R. 2) is an unprecedented provision allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to approve pesticides without analyzing the risks they pose to endangered species. This means the EPA could allow dangerous pesticides to be sprayed on endangered species’ habitats, including rivers and streams used by rare salmon, wetlands used by California red-legged frogs, and even marine environments used by orca whales and manatees.
Also in those pages are extreme provisions that would cause irreparable harm to national forests, clean drinking water and wildlife. The provisions eliminate environmental review for logging, roadbuilding and infrastructure decisions on national forests. They also undermine the National Environmental Policy Act and the Roadless Area Conservation Rule.”
Thank you for speaking out and using your voice to make a difference!
The Coalition has been partnering with both Pima Association of Governments (PAG) and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) for many years, both on long-range transportation planning and passage and implementation of the RTA voter-approved plan that includes $45 million for wildlife crossing infrastructure. Recently, PAG and the RTA formed a non-profit called the Regional Partnering Center (RPC) to more widely engage in projects throughout the region.
We are especially excited about the component of RPC’s recently awarded project to operate the “Sabino Canyon Shuttle” service. This project focuses on new interpretive programming at Sabino Canyon, in multiple languages and on multiple topics. Given the ongoing popularity of Sabino Canyon with both locals and tourists, this is an incredible opportunity to share the most up-to-date and compelling information about the Sonoran Desert and all the accomplishments Pima County and partners have achieved under the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan. We are also excited about their plan to use electric vehicles in Sabino Canyon. This will reduce air and noise pollution, both of which will benefit the people and wildlife that visit and live in this spectacular and biologically-important area. The vehicles are scheduled to be introduced in January 2019.
Additionally, we applaud RPC’s commitment to managing the Sabino Canyon transit service in a way that provides underserved members of the community access to the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area through a new link to the region’s public transit network. The Coalition is proud to be supporting the RPC’s efforts and to continue our partnership with the regional transportation entities in Pima County.
For a recent news article about the RPC’s plans for Sabino Canyon, head here.
by Jessica Moreno
It was a clear, crisp day on March 6, and the freshly brewed coffee was almost as invigorating as the arrival of several school bus-loads of fourth graders and parents from Manzanita Elementary. Over 100 curious minds boiled out into the lower parking lot of the Santa Catalina Catholic Church on Oracle Road just south of the wildlife bridge. “Critter Cam Day” had arrived.
Coalition volunteers were already stationed around the seven activity tents laid out around the parking lot, as kids split into organized groups led by teachers Charlotte Ackerman and Jennifer DeBenedetti of the Manzanita Robotics Club. These students have been sorting and studying the Coalition’s wildlife camera photos as part of a new 4-week curriculum developed by Ackerman and DeBenedetti in partnership with CSDP. Today, they would have a field day.
It may not be surprising that the activities held their rapt attention and their colorful field guides, made especially for this day, were quick to be filled. Finely timed rotating activities included a spotting scope station to view the wildlife bridge and mapping points of interest. Mark Hart with Arizona Game and Fish Department taught wildlife tracks and track tracing skills. Wildlife rehabilitator and CSDP volunteer Kathie Schroeder and her outreach hawk Sueño shared the adaptations of Harris’s hawks and other birds of prey. Mr. Packrat brought a guest too – and shared the desert adaptions of native packrats. Stations also included games and activities to teach camouflage techniques and the importance of pheromones and scents. And of course, the day would not be complete without a guided nature walk to check a wildlife camera!
Throughout the morning, students and parents were absorbing the skills and knowledge of naturalists and scientists and giving back a thirst for more. As we met around the leftover coffee and homemade granola bars after the day was done, teachers, volunteers, and guest contributors all agreed that very few improvements could be made to this positive and inspiring day. The success of this event is something we hope to repeat, and expand next year. Eventually, we hope this will be a curriculum that can be packaged and adopted by other TUSD schools. Not unlike the critters now crossing new bridges, these students are poised to bridge the divide between knowing – and doing.
Read the latest story about Critter Cam Day in the Oro Valley Explorer, here.
Check out this fantastic video about Critter Cam Day produced by the Catalina Foothills School District: