Help Us Celebrate 30 Years of Conservation!

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Arizona-Idaho Conservation Act of 1988 that created the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA). The SPRNCA protects almost 57,000 acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management adjoining 40 miles of the San Pedro River from the international border to St. David.  The 30th Anniversary of the SPRNCA is a time to reflect on the success of river protection and good stewardship for the past three decades, while looking forward to the next thirty years and beyond.
To commemorate this occasion, the Friends of the San Pedro River and the Bureau of Land Management are planning a celebration at the San Pedro House on Saturday, November 17, from 2 to 4 p.m.  Speakers will include former US House Representative Jim Kolbe, former BLM Arizona State Director Dean Bibles, representatives from the Bureau of Land Management, and the Friends of the San Pedro River.  YOU are invited to join us!
Please click here to submit your RSVP on-line.  We would appreciate your response by November 9th to help us plan for seating and parking.

Summer 2018 River Roundup Is Here!

Here’s what’s happening!

Summer 2018 Newsletter

In this issue: President’s Report… August Work Day… Board Election & Annual Meeting… St David Birding with Tucson Audubon… 30th SPRNCA Anniversary… June Work Day… BLM Draft Resource Management Plan Comments Sought… SPH Signage… Volunteer & Staff Kudos… Service Ethic… Members… Calendar… ContactsMembers… Calendar… Contacts

More grazing in SPRNCA? Comment on draft RMP!

How to submit comments on draft SPRNCA Resource Management Plan 
Help us protect the river and celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA).  Submit your substantive comments on the draft RMP to the Bureau of Land Management during the public comment period that ends September 27, 2018.  [In the row for SPRNCA DRMP Vol1, click on the Comment on Document button.]  Use the guide linked here to help you craft your comments.
In a nutshell, the draft RMP has four management alternatives:

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AZ Supreme Court opens door to Tribute

Thursday, August 9th, was a sad day for the Friends of the San Pedro River and everyone who cares about the continued existence of the San Pedro, a rare, functioning desert riparian area, and the wildlife it supports. By the slimmest of majorities, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled against a lawsuit that sought to force consideration of groundwater usage as part of the approval of the Tribute residential development project in the Sierra Vista area.

The Friends hoped the plaintiffs would prevail in order to require that the Arizona Department of Water Resources consider the federal water right for the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area in determining whether there was 100 years of adequate and legally available water supply for Tribute. Instead, the court ruled that ADWR is under no obligation to consider the impact of additional pumping by Tribute on the San Pedro River. Owners of residential wells in the area should be concerned because this means they too have no protection for their water source from prospective deep groundwater pumping associated with Tribute.

Pumping in the Sierra Vista area is already withdrawing more groundwater from the aquifer than is replenished. The result is a cone of depression where the aquifer is being drained. This cone of depression is spreading and adversely affects the flow of groundwater to the San Pedro River. Tribute will add 7,000 new homes that will require additional groundwater withdrawals from the aquifer. The end-result is sadly easy to anticipate.

Volunteer at Fairbank Schoolhouse!

Fairbank Schoolhouse

Fairbank Schoolhouse

It’s so isolated out there! It’s too far! It’s too boring! Those are reasons I hear from volunteers about not working at the Schoolhouse. I find them pretty amazing because I have found the volunteering there to be fascinating, peaceful, and a great learning experience. I have met people from all over the world there, and they all love to talk. It is fun to watch the kids that come in and decide to play school. They are so excited! And the adults are really impressed with our museum displays and our new brochure.   Continue reading