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2017 Update from the Officers of the Lower San Pedro Watershed Alliance

posted Feb 6, 2018, 2:59 PM by Jeau Allen

Accomplishments of the Lower San Pedro Watershed Alliance (LSPWA) during the past year were shaped by Mick Meader, one of our directors who passed away gracefully in February of 2017.

Mick was active in all of our program areas. He promoted science-based conservation planning. He countered myths with actual data. He exposed the exaggerated benefit claims and profound impacts of inappropriate development proposals through tireless research and engagement in the administrative review process. Always reaching out, and always ready to pitch in, Mick was a model for conservation activism.

Great progress was made during 2017 in the efforts that Mick had been promoting:
  • The Madrean Watersheds Landscape Conservation Planning and Design process has advanced to the stage where design indicators are being selected and conservation stakeholders are assembling for planning purposes on a regular basis.
  • Attorneys from EarthJustice have joined with the LSPWA and other local conservation groups in strongly encouraging federal agencies to study the environmental impacts of the proposed 70,000-resident Vigneto development near Benson.
  • Resistance to building an industrial-scale infrastructure corridor through previously undisturbed portions of the lower San Pedro watershed has progressed from administrative hearings to the courtroom.
  • Wildlife monitoring continues under the coordination of Alex Binford-Walsh, a dedicated young volunteer in Cascabel, Arizona.
  • Researchers collaborated with LSPWA landowners to conduct ecological and hydrological studies.
  • Aravaipa LSPWA member Phil Hedrick continued to lead efforts in the control of invasive species.
And, we joined with several dozen other organizations in Arizona to promote the conservation of indigenous water for riparian ecosystems.

Mick had a vision of building a shield to protect the now-unique biological richness and natural beauty of the lower San Pedro watershed. This vision lives on in the individuals and groups who had the privilege to work with him.

Consider the labor and monetary contributions you can make to the LSPWA, to the Cascabel Conservation Association, and to legal assistance groups like EarthJustice. The most lasting legacy we can leave is to conserve the natural ecosystems that took millions of years to develop. Protecting our last remaining wildlands yields the most bang for your conservation buck, far more cost effective and beneficial to wildlife than trying to replicate natural conditions in areas that have already been significantly disturbed by development activity. Let's carry on our shared vision with Mick in the years to come.
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