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  • Writer's pictureMark L. Johnson

TA Tidbits #31 BioBlitz & More

Tortolita Preserve-Natural Resource Survey (BioBlitz)

TA met with representatives from Marana Parks & Recreation (MPR), Arizona Game & Fish (AZG&F), Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection (CSDP) and Pima Naturalists (PN) on 11/30/21 to begin the preliminary planning for a Natural Resource Survey of the entire 2,400 acres that encompasses the Tortolita Preserve (TP).

TA has a strategic goal of developing and implementing a Natural Resource Survey program for TP to; (1) develop a baseline and ongoing inventory of plants, animals and other natural resources and (2) engage the community in the process.

Another term for Natural Resource Survey is BioBlitz. A BioBlitz is defined as "an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time". The BioBlitz can include scientists and community volunteers. It is also a great way for children to learn about natural resources. They have been successfully performed in Arizona with assistance from AZG&F, CSDP, PM and others. In fact, a very large and successful BioBlitz occurred at the Saguaro National Park (SNP) in 2011. Click on the button below for a short article and video of the SNP BioBlitz.

MPR will now take the lead on this most important project. TA, the other environmental groups and agencies will be forwarding their respective goals and ideas to MPR by the end of December and the next meeting will be held in mid-January. Stayed tuned in the months ahead and you will get the opportunity to volunteer for this effort!

Barbed Wire Fence Removal & Replacement Project

Barbed-wire fencing has been used for a very long time in Southern Arizona to delineate land boundaries, prevent illegal access and prevent cattle migration. However, barbed wire fencing can be an obstacle for wildlife migration.

The Friends of the Ironwood Forest (FIF) is collaborating with Arizona Game & Fish, Pima County, National Park Service, City of Tucson, US Bureau of Reclamation and the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection to improve wildlife corridors in the Ironwood Forest National Monument area by removing old barbed wire fencing and/or replacing barbed wire with animal friendly wire fencing.

The first volunteer event in December is already full but more wire fencing removal/replacement projects are planned for the future. Click on the box below to download the FIF Fall 2021 Newsletter and read more about this program.

FIF Newsletter11-21
Download PDF • 16.29MB

Invasive Grass Pull-Inmate Assist

Stan Ross (TA member) and Marana Park and Recreation (MPR) officials report that the invasive grass removal project in late November utilizing Department of Correction inmates went very well. The work took place in the canyon near the Alamo Springs Spur Trail. Forty-three (43) bags of invasive grasses including Bufflegrass and Bermuda Grass were removed.

MPR indicates a two-day invasive grass pull with inmate assist will take place each month this winter through March. Thanks to Stan, MPR and the inmates for their hard work.


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