Mark L. Johnson
TA Tidbits # 41-Tortolita Preserve Project Updates
Tortolita Dawn (TP-9/25/22)
Tortolita Alliance (TA ) attended a presentation by Marana Parks & Recreation (MPR) on 2/23/23 at the Highlands sponsored by the Dove Mountain Civic Group. MPR staff did a great job providing updates on a variety of projects and events at the various trails, parks and other venues throughout Marana. The following serves as an update on important Tortolita Preserve (TP) projects gleaned from that meeting.
TA has been working with MPR for the last three years on these projects and it is nice to see them coming to fruition.
Moore Road TP Trailhead Improvements
The new trailhead will be located at the intersection of Moore Road and Wild Burro Road. See site plan below. The project includes new entrance, signage, parking and more.
The design is complete and the project is now out to bid. Construction is expected to be completed by Fall 2023.
This project includes the installation of 14,800 feet of wildlife-friendly fencing at the western end of TP. See site plan below. This will prevent migration and cattle and Off Highway Vehicles (OHVs) into TP. When completed the new fencing will protect TP natural resources and enhance public safety. Design is complete and the project is now out to bid. Construction is expected to be completed by Fall 2023.
Cattle Water Tank Relocation
MPR and Marana Public Works have constructed a roadway outside of TP to a new cattle water tank site. The existing water tank inside TP boundaries will be relocated by the rancher to the new site. The water tank relocation project will be done in conjunction with the western TP fencing project.
TP Trail Counter
TA contributed $500 to MPR for the purchase of a trail counter to monitor hiking and biking activity in the TP and other MPR trails. The trail counter has been received and is being mounted in a protective housing. MPR will be placing it in the field in March.
TP BioBlitz-Spring 2023
The TP BioBlitz on 11/19/22 was a huge success and we would like to have another BioBlitz this Spring to get observations during a different season. TA asked MPR if this was feasible and got a mixed reaction. TA offered to organize a smaller event with the original BioBlitz partners (MPR, Coalition For Sonoran Desert Protection, Pima Naturalists and Arizona Game & Fish) to ensure we observations this Spring. Stay tuned for more information.
Strong-Arm Resting Peacefully
Strong-Arm passed on 8/4/22 and is decaying naturally. Fortunately there are no signs of any rib/rod removal. Let's allow Strong-Arm and other saguaros that have passed to rest in peace in perpetuity. Please do not disturb the ribs/rods and allow nature to take its course.