• Mark L. Johnson

TA Tidbits # 28 Save The Happy Habitat


Tortolita Mountains Photo by Nancy Major





Huge Sonoran Desert Tortoise Found In Tortolita Preserve


Marenis Kansfield (TA member) came upon this big Sonoran Desert Tortoise (1 foot wide) along the north section of the Tortolita Preserve (TP) trail on October 8. Thanks to Marenis for sharing the photo!



TA continues work on coordinating a full natural resource survey of TP with Arizona Game & Fish, Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection and Pima Naturalists. More to come in the weeks ahead.


TP provides Happy Habitat to a host of wildlife and plants and we need to ensure it stays that way!






Marana Population Grows To 52,000


The 2020 Census Data is in and Marana's population was recorded at 51,908. This is an increase of 16,947 (48.5%) from the 2010 census population of 34,961.



During this same 10-year time frame, Marana's Total Operating Expenses increased by 66% and Total Revenues increased by 107%. It appears that rampant population growth results in a higher proportion of government growth!


In Water Woes VIII, TA reported that Marana has approved 25,767 lots that have not been platted, i.e. no houses yet. This is equivalent to a population of 69,570 (25,767 x 2.7 persons/lot)! If these lots are ever platted, it would result in a population of 121,478 (51,908 + 69,570) or 2.3 times the 2020 census population. The increase in Marana government operating costs and revenues to support this unrealistic growth will be huge! What are they thinking?


Imagine the amount of Happy Habit that will be destroyed if all these lots are built!





Colorado River Emergency-Arizona Water Officials Testify In DC


Tom Buschatzke (Director-Arizona Department of Water Resources) testified before a US Senate Panel and indicated that over allocation of the Colorado River and aridification of the West has resulted in historical low water levels in Lake Mead and Lake Powell. The need for emergency actions beyond the Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) was emphasized. Click here to see CAP Article.


Marana Water needs to assume in its upcoming Water Management Plan that 25% of its Colorado River Allotment will not be available and reduce its available source of supply accordingly.


Imagine what would happen to our Happy Habitat if there was no water available for Marana's existing population.


Happy Habit-Wild Mustang Trail

Grass Galore!


One year ago, I was infected with the Cocci soil fungus and contracted Valley Fever. In the early days of infection there were times when I could hardly walk and two hour naps were common. After months of anti-fungal medicine treatment and slowly regaining my wind and strength, I felt strong enough today (along with cooler temperatures) to tackle the 9-mile Wild Mustang-Alamo Springs Loop Trail. No problem today and it demonstrates how long it takes to almost fully recover from Valley Fever.


The key observation today is that all that green grass from the monsoonal rains has now dried out and turned brown. There is plenty of wild oat grass and soft feather pampusgrass. Fortunately, no bufflegrass was observed.


Here is a collage of photos taken this morning.