Who We Are
The 1.3-million-acre lower San Pedro watershed supports the last remaining natural desert river ecosystem in southern Arizona. Significant investments have been made by native cultures and contemporary groups to protect this vitally important conservation corridor.
The Lower San Pedro Watershed Alliance was established as a non-profit corporation in Arizona on June 21, 2013. The Alliance is a tax-exempt organization under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRS). Contributions to the Alliance are deductible under section 170 of the IRS code.
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 next proposal for major infrastructure construction in the watershed was the SunZia transmission project, an industrial scale extra-high voltage electrical transmission corridor. During this process, the community-based groups in Cascabel and Aravaipa worked closely together to resist the proposal. In November of 2012, representatives from the two communities came together to discuss organizing at the watershed level to educate the general public about the ecological importance of the lower San Pedro, promote broad-based 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 9th of 2013.
We now have more than 100 participating landowners, representing at least 9100 acres of privately held land and 71,375 acres of grazing lease lands in the lower San Pedro watershed. Additionally, we have over 100 supporting members, including individual citizens, representatives from conservation groups, researchers, academics, and representatives from various government agencies, including local county and state government agencies, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S Bureau of Reclamation.