Projects

The AWCA is in the beginning stages of development and both project funds and technical assistance are needed. Our scope of work is enormous considering the size and complexity of this watershed. We have begun our discussion with the importance of creating inventories for all the rangeland. With a Regional Conservation Partnership Program in place, we could ask for additional personnel for the local Natural Resources Conservation Service. However, until we can apply for a proposal for the program we have only limited staff to cover the working area. These inventories will be an important aspect of the science and monitoring of all projects since our goal is to not only determine what works on the landscape, but to document unsuccessful attempts as well, so that our landscape itself becomes a science driven classroom for others to learn from.

We have held some meetings with potential partners and we are interested in developing both WSM Modeling and Lidar imagery for the entire working landscape. This science would be crucial in both project conception and monitoring of applied projects. One aspect of the upper Aravaipa watershed is that the public county road runs alongside the entire length of the Aravaipa Creek. Devastating floods and sediment deposits have created erosion along the roadways that are hazardous to public safety as well as to the residents of several ranches. We are seeking grants to cover technical design and implementation of these concerns as a priority.

In order to continue to organize and prioritize our goals and projects we would like to develop a working watershed plan that spells out the needs and projects of the entire landscape. Once we have good inventories documented, we need to make sure all the ranches have the ability to rest pasture and distribute both wildlife and livestock if necessary for completion of projects and success of rangeland restoration. Projects such as invasive plant removal by the use of fire, mechanical or chemical application will require good fencing for pasture rest and rotation. Waterlines and boundary fences will need to be updated or replaced for the same reasons.

Among the goals that many of our partners will be interested in, will be to develop several forms of water recharge basins, holistic pole planting, and natural rock structures to begin a new generation of flood control that is proactive rather than reactive. Also, many of the ranchers in the valley bottoms have and use irrigated farm pastures. We consider these irrigated pastures to be wildlife islands and their protection and additional development is a positive action that the group plans to take. Turkey, deer, migrating birds and many other species of wildlife find refuge in these open pastures with the ability to seek shelter in the mesquite bosques typically associated alongside them. Water recharge basins near these pastures will be a future project for grants that cover both construction and monitoring to truly access the benefit of these pastures as wildlife corridors.