In partnership with Wild At Heart, The Town of Gilbert, & ADOT, Desert Rivers Audubon installed a Burrowing Owl Habitat at Zanjero Park, 3785 S. Lindsay Rd., Gilbert. Made possible by a grant from Together Green, over 80 volunteers installed artificial burrows, built a pre-release shelter for rehabilitated burrowing owls, and monitor & interpret the habitat for the public fourth Saturdays. Check our calendar for the date and time of our next Owl Walk & Talk at the Burrowing Owl Habitat.
Our volunteer citizen scientist OwlWatchers continue to monitor the habitat and status of the released and wild burrowing owls. Contact our OwlWatch Coordinator Anne Koch if you would like to join them, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A photo log of our efforts can be seen here.
Contact our Volunteer Coordinator Anne Koch to join Desert Rivers Audubon in caring for and improving the demonstration Hummingbird Habitat at Desert Breeze Park, 660 N. Desert Breeze Parkway, Chandler. We prune, plant and water every second Saturday.
Read Desert Rivers' report on this critical issue. To report sightings or locations of illegal feeding in the preserve, visit the Riparian Institute website, or contact the Riparian Preserve's Naturalist Jennie Rambo at email@example.com or 480-797-2019. If you would like to volunteer to help with this issue, contact Desert Rivers Audubon Conservation Director Mike Evans.
Desert Rivers Audubon supports the efforts of the National Audubon Society on national conservation issues. To learn more about these campaigns, visit the National Audubon Society's Action Center page to see how you can help with nationwide conservation issues. Register at the Audubon Action Center for specific information for your geographical area.
Please ask your members of Congress to support the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels to help save these imperiled birds.
We need your help to make sure BP pays their fair share to clean up the Gulf. Urge the U.S. Department of Justice to hold BP fully accountable for the Gulf oil spill.
It's time to applaud and strongly support the President's efforts to control climate pollution. Send a thank you email to President Obama.
Tell your lawmakers where you stand on global warming by signing our petition.
Desert Rivers Audubon supports and is actively collaborating with Audubon Arizona, other local Audubon chapters around Arizona, a large group of other local and regional conservation organizations, and the National Audubon Society on two efforts: the Western Rivers Action Network (WRAN), Audubon's multi-state grassroots effort to protect rivers, and the adoption, implementation and stewardship of Important Bird Areas (IBAs).
To learn more about the Western Rivers Action Network, visit their website here: http://az.audubon.org/rivers-and-water-0
To learn more about Important Bird Areas, including our own local IBA, The Riparian Preserve at Gilbert Water Ranch Park, go to: http://az.audubon.org/important-bird-areas-20
We are working with our local governments on a couple of issues. We have concerns about feral cats management policies in Chandler and Mesa. We are also interested in seeing a Conservation Management Plan adopted for the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert Water Ranch Park. We will let you know when we need additional assistance on these issues. For those interested in additional conservation work beyond our on-going efforts with the Burrowing Owl Habitat, Hummingbird Garden, and reporting on the feral cat sightings at Gilbert's Riparian Preserve, volunteers are always needed at the two conservation areas in our area, the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert Water Ranch, and Veteran's Oasis Park in Chandler. Local advocacy needs will be announced at our monthly meetings or posted here on our website, on our Facebook page and in your monthly email from our Constant Contact service.
With huge growth experienced over the last 10 or so years in the Prescott area, several cities are attempting to divert Verde River water into a pipeline to serve the cities’ needs, and pump more groundwater from the Big Chino aquifer- both of which could result in depletion of Verde River water to the detriment of many species that depend upon the river as it courses southward all the way to Phoenix. This seems to be an old story- most other Arizona streams and rivers have similarily been assailed by municipalities to supply their growing residential demand. Will the Verde go the route of the San Pedro River, which ran dry for the first time ever only a few years ago?
What can be done top prevent one of our last natural river systems from being ruined? See Conservation Page 2.
Another Arizona river that is in imminent danger is the San Pedro River. Only one of two major rivers that flow north out of Sonora Mexico and into the Gila River, the San Pedro River is one of the last remaining un-dammed rivers in the southwestern United States.
The cottonwood-willow lined stream flows about 140 miles supporting near 350 bird species as well as providing habitat for up to 4 million migrating birds annually. Area development and the resulting groundwater pumping needed to supply these thirsty humans has resulted in an unsustainable drop in the rivers aquifer thus depriving the riparian vegetation and wildlife of its critical water source.
What is being done: The Upper San Pedro Partnership is a collaborative effort between local, state and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations (including Audubon) working to develop management plans that address water conservation for the United States section of the upper San Pedro Basin. It is anticipated that retirement of irrigated agricultural land and meaningful water conservation efforts will increase stream flows in the next few years.
The 2004 Arizona Water Settlement Act (AWSA) was an act of congress that addressed the outstanding and senior water rights of Arizona’s tribal entities and issues of water rights to Central Arizona Project Water Rights. The settlement of the tribal claims is considered environmentally sound as existing water infrastructure would be repaired thus increasing water effiency for tribal interests.
Also in the AWSA, are provisions to guarantee New Mexico’s claim to Colorado River water. This was accomplished by trading 14,000 acre-feet of Gila River water for New Mexico’s Cap claim. Translated, this trade allows New Mexico to construct infrastructure to store Gila River water that would normally flow down the river channel thus depriving the riverine system of much of its natural flow. The construction of the proposed off-stream reservoir to store this water is on Mangas Creek in the New Mexico Gila River watershed. Many environmental groups urged all federal and state governmental agencies, Congress and the New Mexico Legislature to oppose this poorly designed project. The proposed dam and pump station facilities and water distribution (see Conservation Page 2)