Who We Are

The Lower San Pedro Watershed Alliance was established as a non-profit corporation in Arizona on June 21, 2013. The Alliance qualified as a tax-exempt organization under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRS) on October 9, 2014, with our original incorporation date being accepted as the effective date of tax exempt status. Contributions to the Alliance are deductible under section 170 of the IRS code.  

The group currently consists of 91 private landholders in the watershed and 59 other supporters, including non-resident individuals, agency representatives, and representatives from non-governmental conservation groups. There is no membership fee, and the only requirement for participation is agreement with our mission.
The bylaws are available at this link.

The need for the Alliance was recognized late in 2007 during the process of considering a proposal to build a freeway bypass for Interstate 10 through one of two routes in the lower San Pedro watershed. At that time, the only organized resistance to the freeway proposal took place at the community level, and not with a watershed-wide approach. It became apparent that a freeway in one part of this important conservation corridor would eventually affect traffic and development pressure throughout the corridor.

The latest proposal for major infrastructure construction in the watershed is the SunZia transmission project, an industrial scale extra-high voltage electrical transmission corridor. During this proposal process, the community-based groups in Cascabel and Aravaipa worked closely together to resist the proposal at the watershed level. In November of 2012, representatives from the two communities came together to discuss organizing at the watershed level in order to educate the general public about the ecological importance of the lower San Pedro, promote broad collaboration on conservation initiatives, and work to protect the integrity of the river ecosystem in the long term. Through the next several months, a mission statement was developed, 70 local landowners expressed interest, and our first official meeting took place on March 9, 2013.
We now have 91 participating landowners (71 total parcels), representing 9500 acres of privately-held land and 71,375 acres of grazing lease lands in the lower San Pedro watershed.  Additionally we have 89 supporters, including individuals, representatives from conservation groups, 3 researchers/academics, 3 film crew members, and a representative from the LightHawk foundation, and representatives from the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S Bureau of Reclamation.

Our current board of directors will hold office until June 21, 2018, as specified in our bylaws.  The board of directors are all volunteers who have a long history of conservation activism:

Peter Else, chair, who lives on the River north of Mammoth

David Omick, vice-chair, a resident of Cascabel

Cathy Gorman, secretary and treasurer, from Aravaipa Canyon

Anna Lands, who lives near the River in Cascabel

Lon Brehmer, a watershed resident living south of San Manuel

Bob Evans, a resident of Cascabel

Doris Haynes, a watershed resident living south of San Manuel

Elna Otter, from Cascabel

Scott Wilbor, Conservation Science Director for Sky Island Alliance based in Tucson, who has worked extensively in the lower San Pedro watershed.

Our most recent version of our strategic plan is in the file below:

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  477k v. 1 Mar 1, 2015, 6:21 PM Peter Else
Subpages (1): LSPWA Bylaws