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BOX 63 SIERRA VISTA, ARIZONA 85636
Volume XXXIII Number 2
Huachuca Audubon Society endorses the establishment of the Upper San Pedro Water District and recommends a “yes” vote on the issue in November….
So said the resolution passed by the HAS board April 29, 2010. But what is it the organization is really supporting, and what does this step mean for members? According to materials published by the Upper San Pedro Water District Organizing Board: As waster demand increases in the region, the goal of the Water District would be to help meet the water supply needs and water conservation requirements for the communities within the District and Fort Huachuca and to maintain the conditions needed to sustain the Upper San Pedro River. Thus a measure will appear on the November 2010 ballot whereby upper basin citizens vote whether to establish the District, then also select a board of seven unpaid members to manage it. The key difference between water management with a District and without is that the District can work across jurisdictional boundaries to solve problems—Fort Huachuca, Sierra Vista, Tombstone, (part of) Bisbee, and unincorporated Cochise County areas could control water management locally and pursue funding for projects together. However, choosing a District creates an entity that still has to find its own funding. Calendar Highlights Friday May 28 Hunter Canyon Sunday June 6 Carr Canyon & the Reef Wednesday June 23 Grasslands & River The legislation that enabled Upper San Pedro citizens to pursue a water district restricted its powers and functions. The District will not retail water nor impose mandatory conservation measures. It won’t be taxing without voter approval. And it will not monitor wells unless by contract as agreed to by both parties. Despite its limited powers, the District could work to bring parties in the basing together to tackle projects that address aquifer overdraft. If voters do not approve the creation of the District and current overdraft impacts to the San Pedro River continue, it becomes more likely the Fort Huachuca’s mission could be eliminated or downsized. Mandatory restrictions imposed by the State or Federal governments could become a reality. At a Palominas public meeting on the District on May 18, former Garrison Commander, Colonel Michael Boardman responded to those who claim the threat of reductions at Fort Huachuca is a scare tactic. As reported in a Sierra Vista Herald article the next day by Bill Hess, Boardman said,
“Water District” Continued on page 7
Annual Meeting, Potluck, and Election of Officers June 12 at Ramsey Canyon Preserve, 5 pm
Please join us for this important yearly assembly. We’ll be repeating last year’s Ramsey Canyon venue (we’re daring it to rain again in early June). We'll aim to eat at 5:30 followed by the election. Note that all positions are up for election this year (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, plus up to six board members). The slate of officers will be announced at our May 18 meeting and on our website www.huachuca-audubon.org.
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Alan Blixt Reports on Spring Birding Trips
Brown Canyon: Five participants recorded 50 species of birds the morning of May 5 in Brown Canyon. Beautiful Cassin's Kingbirds, Vermilion Flycatchers, Summer and Western Tanagers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, and Bullock's Orioles were seen. We found Cactus Wrens and Bewick's Wrens singing on the grasslands, Marsh Wrens calling at the pond, and Canyon Wrens calling in the canyon. We found White-crowned Sparrows, Brewer's Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, Lark Sparrows, and a lone Rufous-crowned Sparrow. We saw/heard Yellow Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Wilson's Warblers, and a Black-throated Gray Warbler up in the canyon. Say's Phoebe, Black Phoebe at the pond, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, and a Dusky Flycatcher showed themselves as well. It was a beautiful day in a beautiful place. St. David Monastery: We departed the Monastery parking lot on April 17 at 7:30 am. Eighteen people from all over enjoyed a spectacular day. We recorded 53 species of birds in a four hour walk to the San Pedro River and back. Highlights included beautiful male Vermilion Flycatchers and a male Bullock's Oriole displaying. A bright red Summer Tanager sang along the river, and Gray Hawks called and flew above us. We saw lots of warblers and flycatchers as well. If you have not visited this place you should go and check it out, just south of St David. You will see a large cross on the west side of Highway 80. Park there, visit the pond, and find a trail through the grasslands and mesquite to the river. Ramsey Canyon: Nine people showed up for our 7 am tour of Ramsey Canyon on May 19. We spent a wonderful morning walking the canyon, enjoying the rushing creek and looking for and listening to birds. We recorded 32 species in about three and a half hours. We were greeted in the parking lot by a gobbling and displaying male Gould's Wild Turkey. We heard and got a brief glimpse of the late arriving Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers. We chased two Elegant Trogans who were calling but did not get to see them. We did find a Cordilleran Flycatcher and saw some Hepatic Tanagers. Duskycapped Flycatchers and Western Wood-pewees were numerous. We also saw both Hutton's and Plumbeous nests in addition to many others. At our next outings meeting we'll discuss another trip to Ramsey Canyon in late July after the rains begin. It would be a nice contrast with late May. Come enjoy Southeastern Arizona on one of our outings.
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Help HAS by Using Your Compass Bank Card
Huachuca Audubon Society has created a relationship with BBVA Compass Bank to help with fundraising. The program is called the “Compass For Your Cause Program.” Each time a member of HAS uses his/her Compass VISA Check Card, 0.25% of the transaction is donated to HAS by Compass Bank. There is no charge to the card user. If you would like to help HAS, it’s very easy. If you are a current Compass Bank customer, simply call them to set up your debit card to be included in the program. If you are not a current customer, apply for a new account and tell the account representative that you would like the account to be associated with the Compass For Your Cause Program for the benefit of Huachuca Audubon Society. It’s that easy. There is no charge to you and HAS benefits as you use your Compass VISA Check Card. There used to be a TV commercial that always ended with “Thank you for your support!” Phil Tucker
Hello for the last time from this space. My Presidency will be over a few days after you see this Trogon News. It has been an interesting four years. We’ve:
Increased overall membership to just over 300. Initiated a successful school visits program using our joint venture "Bone Box" with Friends of the San Pedro River (thank you, Ginny). Funded a modest scholarship with Cochise College. Expanded our field trips program. Vastly improved the quality of our web site due to the skills of Robert Weissler .
• • •
HAS currently supports the formation of an Upper San Pedro Water District, and I understand that one or more of our members intends to vie for one of the seven Board positions. November may seem a long way off, but I suggest you become familiar with the need for this Water District and the views of those running for election. As birders you know the importance of the San Pedro River, and your support is needed for its continued existence. Our nominations committee for the coming election of officers for 2010/11 has not had an easy task. To maintain our current activities—let alone expand as we would prefer—we must have volunteers who are prepared to help. If you have been wavering….Shall I ? Shouldn’t I ?...step forward, even on election day , June 12th at Ramsey Canyon Preserve. HAS needs you. Regards, Mike
MAJOR AUDUBON BIRDING EVENT! Set the date aside and check back for details. The Beaver Creek Ranch south of Alpine Arizona, working with the White Mountain Audubon Society, is hosting a Bird Watchers Field Week for members of the Audubon Society, August 21 to 29 of this year. Card-holding Audubon members can stay at the ranch with a fifty percent discount including meals and participate in activities on owls and hawks, the wolf reinstatement program, hummingbird banding, beginning and advanced bird watching, and much more, all presented by world class wildlife professionals. Local area field trips include forest hikes, a cookout on the Blue River, and Wild Cat Canyon Bird Watch. Go to www.beavercreekguestranch.com/ for more information about this event and the beautiful and historic Beaver Creek Ranch located in the cool pines of Central Eastern Arizona.
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H u a c h u c a A u d u b o n S o c i e t y F i e l d Tr i p s
Friday May 28 Hunter Canyon Bird Walk
Meet at Cinema parking lot to carpool at 7:00 am. Located on the east side of Hwy 92 at Choctaw/Bevers.
Sunday June 6 Carr Canyon and the Reef
Meet at the Perimeter Trail parking lot at 7:00 am (on Carr Canyon Road)
Wednesday June 23 Grasslands & River
Meet at San Pedro House at 7:00 am. Located just west of the river, south of Hwy 90.
Remember to bring water, snacks, sunscreen, and a hat on all trips. Look for hot and dry in June, with rain starting in July in Southeastern Arizona. Also, carpool passengers are expected to provide adequate compensation to their drivers, about 8 cents per mile. ¡Gracias!
As of press time, some space remains available in the summer 2010 Ramsey Canyon Kid Camp
Brought to you by The Nature Conservancy, Southwest Wings, and Huachuca Audubon (and thanks, also to the Friends of the San Pedro River). Fun, nature-based educational activities will introduce children to the wonderful natural history of the of the Huachuca Mountains and the San Pedro River Basin. Campers learn about plants, animals, and water from experienced teachers. Ages 7 – 9 (June 21-25 or July 19 - 23) Ages 10 – 12 (June 28-July 2 or July 26 - 30) Each sessions runs for a week from 8:30 am to 12 noon—four days at the Ramsey Canyon Preserve, and a fifth at the San Pedro River. Cost $35/child 14 children per session For more information or to register, please call Nicole Vasquez at the preserve at (520) 378-2785 X 111.
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Check the web site (http://www.huachuca-audubon.org) for the latest updates to the schedule of events. WEEKLY
Summer Plant ID Class
A 6-week course entitled "Learn to Identify Plants" will be taught by Cecile Lumer, PhD. The class will meet Friday mornings, 10 am-12 noon from August 20 to September 24 at the University of Arizona South. Class dates are 8/20, 8/27, 9/3, 9/10, 9/17, 9/24. The cost is $130 and fees will go to support the Cochise County Herbarium. Enrollment is limited to 20 people and a $25 deposit will reserve a place in the class. For more info: Call Cecile Lumer at 432-4294, (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or Joyce at 458-8278 ext.2141
Sundays at 7 am. Bird Walk at Sierra Vista Environmental Operations Park. Limited to 20 participants with two docents. Sponsored by Huachuca Audubon, Friends of the San Pedro, and SE AZ Bird Observatory. Monday bird walks on the San Pedro River (just north of Hwy 92) take a break in the summer.
2nd Wednesday at 7 am (through September—8 am October-March); Bird Walk at San Pedro House.
Friends of the San Pedro
Every Saturday Interpretive Walk, 8 am . Meet at the San Pedro House just west of the river, south of Hwy 90. Sunday Bird Walks (and other times). Meet at the San Pedro House just west of the river, south of Hwy 90. See details at www.sanpedroriver.org. Trips require $5 per person at departure Charleston Bridge and Points North June 12, 2010 10-mile, “strenuous” hike that rewards with rock art, the Narrows, Charleston, and other points of interest. Meet at the Charleston Bridge at 7:00 am. Boquillas Section of the San Pedro Trail July 17, 2010 Walk from Fairbank south to the historic Boquillas Ranch and the ruins of Boston Mill. Meet at the Fairbank parking lot at 7:00 am. (8 miles, rated moderate.) Clanton Ranch August 21, 2010 Cruise through upland Chihuahuan Desert and soak up Cochise County history. Meet at the Murray Springs parking lot at 7:00 am. (4 miles, rated easy.)
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Birding and Nature Festival Sierra Vista, Arizona August 4-8, 2010
This year headquartered at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Featuring field trips around the SE Arizona Sky Island Region. Experience the magnificent scenery and biodiversity. Vendors, reception, free nature talks. Keynote Speaker Rick Taylor
Founder of Borderlands Tours Author of Birder’s Guide to SE AZ Information and registration at
Jo Ann Loza
Mike Guest Explains DONATIONS THAT DON’T COST MONEY
Looking at our web site you must have seen the icon to the right and even wondered about trying this service. But you didn’t ! To my knowledge only myself and two other brave shoppers have. We have been pleased with the results, plus HAS has received a few dollars as well. Clicking on the image leads you to a screen asking which merchant you wish to visit, or alternatively which product you wish to purchase. Depending upon where you shop, the rebate back to HAS varies, ranging from some 2% to 4% of your cost. But the rebate costs you nothing and comes from the vendor’s profit margin ! Personally I usually shop at Amazon.com for books, DVDs, or electronics. When I enter “Amazon.com” as the store I want to visit, up comes the usual Amazon welcoming screen: “Welcome Michael Guest,” just as if I had logged on directly instead of going through the HAS web site. Any transaction is completed in the usual fashion, and free shipping, when applicable is still available. There is no increase in price for going through the HAS web site. But, once a month HAS does receive a check through the mail for the rebates due from any transaction originating from our web site. Try it. I’m sure you will be pleased with your shopping experience, and so will HAS.
We l c o m e N e w M e m b e r s
Anna Atchison, Benson N. Barrows, Hereford Sandra Bates, SV Gerriann Bielefeldt, Elfrida Barbara Captain, SV Gisa David, Bisbee Julia Davison, Douglas Linda Enrico, SV Mary Ferguson, Bisbee Marjorie Fisher, Huachuca City Edwina Hansen, St. David Loretta Hartzell, SV And Jeanne Hill, St. David t hank s t o Claudine Miller, St. David all o f yo u Hedwig Robinson, SV lo ya l Elaine Santo, Pearce rene win g m em ber s, Gayle Simpson, SV too. Mary Beth Sutor, Bisbee Floyd Tenopir, St. David Carolyn Thomas, Pomerene Frances Trujillo, Huachuca City Thomas Valley, SV Stephen Vath, Huachuca City Andrea Wheeler, Bisbee
Water District, continued from page 1
“people in Washington have no loyalty to the fort.” In other words, if water issues get critical, other places can be found for the functions currently at Fort Huachuca. The Fort Huachuca-San Pedro connection derives from the presence of federally listed species that rely on the river, and the installation’s direct and indirect responsibility for significant water pumping in the valley. The fort takes its legal responsibilities seriously and leads the charge in the upper basin to conserve water. With the election ahead, Huachuca Audubon members can help a campaign committee that is likely to form to support approval of the District. Members can support candidates for the sevenmember board or run themselves. As of May 18, four candidates had declared they would seek seats on the board: Bob Strain (SV), Lori Kovash (SV), Moe Simsley (Tombstone), and Jeff Harris (Bisbee). Currently the overdraft from the upper San Pedro aquifer amounts to about 5,000 acre-feet per year—we take out 5,000 more acre-feet each year than is replenished by all sources. An effective local water District has a chance at overseeing projects needed to reduce or eliminate that overdraft and keep water flowing in the river. The HAS Conservation Committee urges you to get involved in the upcoming election and make a difference. Conservation Committee Members Tricia Gerrodette and Ted Mouras and editor Brooke Gebow
HUACHUCA AUDUBON SOCIETY P.O. BOX 63 SIERRA VISTA, ARIZONA 85636
Ginny Bealer Alan Blixt Mel Emeigh Tricia Gerrodette 378-6341 515-9458 458-4588 378-4937
Huachuca Audubon Society Directory (520 area code)
President Secretary Treasurer Mike Guest Elaine Emeigh Phil Tucker email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com wbunlimited1013 @qwestoffice.net 378-0667 803-0794 458-4588 803-8440 Vice President Robert Weissler
Arizona Audubon Council Representative Tricia Gerrodette Audubon Adventures Representative Sally Rosen Education
Visit the website for current information:
Committee Chairs Field Trips Robert Weissler Alan Blixt Ginny Bealer Ginny Bealer Membership Conservation Programs firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 803-0794 515-9458 378-6341 378-6341 378-4937
www.huachuca-audubon.org Webmaster, Robert Weissler Submit Trogon News items to: firstname.lastname@example.org “Print” Trogon News Editor, Brooke Gebow
Tricia Gerrodette email@example.com vacant
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