Educational Presentation March 27: Erosion Studies in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge

Click here to view the meeting agenda for March 27, 2018Altar Valley overview from Baboquivary

On March 27, 2018, the Pima NRCD will host an educational presentation by Dr. Mary Nichols, who has done studies on the historical and current erosion and gullying in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.

Mary H. Nichols is a Research Hydraulic Engineer with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Tucson, AZ (since 1991). She has a Ph. D. in Engineering from New Mexico State University. Her research interests include rangeland soil and water conservation practices and their legacy effects on landscapes, the use of high resolution photography in natural resource management, and dryland fluvial geomorphology and landscape evolution.

Current projects include watershed restoration using low-tech rock check dams, quantifying rangeland watershed sediment yields, documenting and interpreting gullies and channel evolution in semiarid watersheds, and the use of ground based lidar for quantifying surface soil erosion processes.


28 February, 2018 Notice of Supervisor election

Pima Natural Resource Conservation District NRCS Plant Materials Center
3241 N. Romero Road
Tucson, AZ 85705
February 27, 2018
Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of the Natural Resource Conservation Districts Law of the State of Arizona, an election for the purpose of electing a Supervisor for the Pima Natural Resource Conservation District will be held on Saturday, the 5th day of May 2018, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., at the polling place listed below:

1978 W Placita Colima
Tucson, Arizona 85704

The following two terms are to be filled by election on May 5, 2018: New 6-year Elective Term To Expire May 31, 2024

A candidate for Supervisor of the Pima Natural Resource Conservation District must reside within the District. Nomination Petitions may be obtained from the District Board of Supervisors. Completed write in petitions must be filed at least 30 days prior to the election, and regular nomination petitions submitted at least 10 days prior to the election with the Natural Resource Conservation Commissioner of the State Land Department,
1616 West Adams,
Phoenix, Arizona 85007.

“The governing body of the District may provide a mail ballot to a qualified District Elector for which it has a first class mailing address with the District governing body at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the election. Qualified District electors who receive ballots I proper form from the District governing body may cast their votes by mail.” (A.R.S. 37-1051) To be counted, completed mail ballots must be received by the District Election Board before the closing of the poll on election day.

If a qualified District elector wishes to vote by mail, the elector’s request for a mail ballot must be made timely and in writing to the address given below.

QUALIFIED DISTRICT ELECTOR: “Qualified elector” means a person who is a District cooperator and a qualified elector of the state. “District Cooperator” means any person who has entered into a cooperative agreement with the District for the purpose of protecting, conserving and practicing wise use of the natural resources under his control (A.R.S. ‘ 37-1003). A person who is not already a District cooperator may obtain a cooperative agreement form from the Board of Supervisors of the District.

3241 North Romero Road
Tucson, Arizona 85705

Webinar on Endangered Species Act Initiative February 8, 2018

Endangered Species Act Initiative webinar!

You are invited to attend an upcoming WGA Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative webinar at 10:00 am MT on Thursday, February 8. The webinar will be a case study examination of the Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative.Register for the webinar here.

The Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative was established to facilitate strategic conservation opportunities and restore water quality and wildlife habitat throughout the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico. The Initiative brings together state and federal agencies, industry, and conservation organizations to craft pragmatic and collaborative solutions to conservation challenges at a broad-scale across the Permian Basin.

The webinar will be moderated by Chris West, Rocky Mountain Regional Director, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Panelists include: Myles Culhane, Assistant General Counsel, Occidental Petroleum; Ross Melinchuk, Deputy Executive Director – Natural Resources, Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife; Nick Owens, Senior HSE Representative, Anadarko Petroleum; Debbie Hughes, Executive Director, New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts; Xavier Montoya, New Mexico State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions.

Thank you.

Zach Bodhane

Policy Advisor for Wildlife | Western Governors’ Association

303.623.9378 | m: 303.915.8857

1600 Broadway, Suite 1700 | Denver, CO 80202

Save the Date: WGA Annual Meeting | Rapid City, South Dakota | June 25-27, 2018


Meeting Notice for January 16, 2018

Pima Natural Resource Conservation District

NRCS Plant Materials Center

3241 N. Romero Road

Tucson, AZ 85705

January 14, 2018




Pima Center for Conservation Education Board of Directors


Pursuant to A.R.S. § 38-431.02, notice is hereby given to the members of the Pima NRCD Board of Supervisors and to the general public that the Pima NRCD Board of Supervisors/PCCE Board of Directors will hold a meeting open to the public.

DATE: Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Time: 2:30 PM

Conference Dial-in Number:
(641) 715-3200

Participant Access Code: 428633#


Dated this day of January 12, 2017
Pima Natural Resource Conservation District


I. Call to Order

II. Review/approve minutes of November 28 teleconference

III. Financial report

a. Review/approve invoice for Administrative Services

b. Review/approve NACD contribution $600

c. Review/approve other invoices that may have arrived

IV. Report on AACD winter conference

V. Discuss/approve proposal to move the Natural Resources Commissioner position from the Arizona State Land Department to the Arizona State Forestry Department

VI. Discuss/adopt resolution supporting “non-navigable” designation of the Santa Cruz River.
According to the Arizona State Lands Department, “The Arizona Navigable Stream Adjudication Commission has been charged with determining the navigability at the time of statehood of all of the other rivers, streams and washes in the state. In 2006, they completed their determinations and declared all were non-navigable. The decisions on the Upper and Lower Salt, Verde, San Pedro and Santa Cruz rivers have been challenged in various appeals courts and are still under review.” “The land lying in the bed of navigable rivers at the time of statehood is sovereign land. Arizona is mandated by the legislature to manage the land from the centerline of the Colorado riverbed to the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) on the Arizona river bank. Sovereign land is held in trust for the benefit of the people of Arizona for travel, commerce, fishing, and other forms of recreation.”

VII. Discuss/approve future strategic course of action on Mexican wolf DNA studies

Discuss ideas to incentivize proactive conservation (and also eliminate dis-incentives) as a means to prevent the decline of species, and thereby prevent them from becoming listed as threatened or endangered. These ideas will be brought to the Western Governors’ Association meeting on that topic January 23.

IX. Reports



c. Other agencies

d. Program Administrator

e. Supervisors

X. Call to the Public

XI. Set next meeting date

XII. Adjourn


Cindy Coping, Chair

Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation, such as a sign language interpreter, by contacting the district at (scroll down to contact form). Requests should be made as early as possible to arrange the accommodation

Pond Sealing Educational Workshop Nov. 17

Click here to view Nov. 17 Pond sealing workshop Announcement

Pond Sealing Educational Workshop

November 17, 2017

Sponsored by:

Pima Natural Resource Conservation District
Pima Center for Conservation Education, Inc.


Seepage Control, Inc.

Altar Valley Conservation Alliance

Pima County Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Department

Pima County Flood Control

Arizona Land and Water Trust


Location: Pima County Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Bldg.

3500 West River Road, Tucson, Arizona

Please RSVP to (520) 971-2962 (leave a message if no answer)

-or- email


8:30 AM Sign-in and coffee

9:00 AM Cindy Coping, Chair, Pima NRCD, “ Welcome and Introductions”

9:05 Lou Catallini, NRCS Supervisory Area Engineer, “Proper pond design and sealing materials for NRCS projects”

9:20-9:30 Kristen Egen, NRCS District Conservationist ,“NRCS Payment Rates”

9:35-11:00 Seepage Control presentations, Q&A

Betty Bailey, Seepage Control, Inc., Introductory presentation

Ron Ciardella, Seepage Control, Inc. VP of Field Operations,“Sealing Reid Park ponds”

10 Minute break

11:00-Noon Colby Friar, Pima County Flood Control, “Liners Used at Agua Caliente Park”

12:00-1:00 pm Sack lunch provided (sandwiches, chips, cookies, soft drinks)

Move over to El Rio Preserve (10190 N Coachline Boulevard, Marana, AZ—approx. 15-minute drive)

1 pm- Site visit-El Rio Preserve (10190 N Coachline Boulevard, Marana, AZ)

1:00-1:30 PM Janine Spencer, Town of Marana “Overview of El Rio Project and Riparian Restoration Plan”

1:30-2:30 Ron Ciardella, Seepage Control, Inc., Site Treatment, questions

Range Beef Cattle Workshop November 2, 2017

Range Beef Cattle Workshop November 2, 2017

The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, the Marley Endowment for Sustainable Rangeland Stewardship, and the Pima Natural Resource Conservation District present:

“Genomics, Herd Health, and Range Cow Efficiency”

: November 2, 2017, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Location: Santa Rita Ranch, 8200 E Box Canyon Road, Green Valley, AZ


Click here to download the flyer.

Let’s get the facts straight on the jaguar: An open letter to the editors of the Arizona Republic and USA Today newspapers

I am the chairman of the Pima Natural Resource Conservation District (PNRCD), one of many local units of government on whose behalf biologist Dennis Parker submitted comments on the draft Jaguar Recovery Plan.

In his article, “Endangered Species, And The Wall That Could Silence Them,” Arizona Republic/USA Today writer Brandon Loomis mistook Mr. Parker for an attorney representing us. Mr. Parker, in fact, is retired from the practice of law. He represented us solely in the capacity of a biological consultant.

Moreover, Mr. Loomis plucked from Mr. Parker’s comments just a single snippet relating to a single issue, and presented it out of context. He ignored the many other very serious factual issues Mr. Parker actually raises — all of which are cited to verifiable sources and none of which, like the survival of the jaguar as a species, depend on whether a border wall is constructed or not. A few of those many important issues, which Mr. Parker discussed in considerable detail, are presented for your readers’ further information and consideration below.

First, the historical range of the jaguar covers 19 countries in the Western hemisphere. At the bare northern extreme of this species’ multi-continental range lie Arizona and New Mexico. Jaguar presence there is characterized by sparse detections of lone, transient males from time to time along the Mexican border, few females over time, and not even one verified breeding record. In fact, no report of any naturally present female jaguar has come out of New Mexico – ever.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), however, has legal jurisdiction only within the boundaries of the United States and its Territories. Its actual authority, therefore, only covers less than one out of every one hundred acres within the jaguar’s multi-continental range as a species, and less than one jaguar for every 10,000 jaguars in its entire range-wide population. Nonetheless, this agency proposes to spend at least $605,648,000 in U.S. taxpayer money, mostly in northern Mexico, for jaguar recovery over the next 50 years.

Second, according to the Arizona Game & Fish Department (AGFD), habitat that is critical, i.e., “essential” to the jaguar’s conservation or existence as a species does not exist in either Arizona or New Mexico, “under any scientifically credible definition of that term.” Nor do either AGFD or the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish (NMGF) concur with the USFWS’s opinion that its proposed recovery actions in Arizona and New Mexico (AZ/NM) will likely benefit the conservation of jaguars as a species, as the Endangered Species Act also requires. Instead, these state wildlife agencies concur that they will not.

Third, archaeological evidence of jaguars in AZ/NM does not exist, at least since the Pleistocene era. Moreover, the fossil record for Arizona presents no evidence of jaguar presence whatsoever.

Fourth, while the draft recovery plan proposes action only in Arizona, New Mexico and northern Mexico, the USFWS nonetheless insists that all 18 foreign, sovereign nations within the jaguar’s actual range must fully meet its recovery goals before it will even consider de-listing the species in the United States. In two of those nations, the jaguar is presently extinct. In many others, like Brazil, it is currently abundant.

Fifth, the draft recovery plan prioritizes transient jaguar presence over national and citizen security. It does so by also requiring the establishment of at least two, permanent “trans-border linkage corridors” on the U.S. southern border. The agency claims such linkages are “essential” to the jaguar’s overall existence as a species, despite its own admission that these combined corridors might collectively benefit, at most, just 6 jaguars (sex unspecified) over the course of the next 50 years. The USFWS also expects most if not all of these jaguars would be lone transient males.

One of the proposed corridors is located very close to Fort Huachuca, home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and the NETCOM / 9th Army Signal Command. That area is already a major corridor for ongoing drug and illegal immigration smuggling operations. The Mexican drug cartels are now working with jihadists dangerously close to the U.S. border as well.

Another corridor the draft plan proposes lies west of Nogales. It too is already a major route for both drug and illegal immigration smuggling operations. Nonetheless, the USFWS would use this recovery plan to prohibit nighttime lighting and other than minimal human presence on the U.S. side of these border linkage corridors.

Sixth, the recovery plan effectively cedes our nation’s sovereignty over both any jaguar delisting decision and control of our southern border, within these trans-border linkage corridors, to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The IUCN is a foreign-domiciled, nongovernmental corporation that is entirely unaccountable to the citizens of the United States.

The recovery plan specifically cedes U.S. national sovereignty to the IUCN by requiring that the status of the jaguar, as classified in the “Red List” criteria of the IUCN, be changed to “Species of Least Concern” in each of 18 sovereign foreign nations, before the USFWS will even consider delisting the jaguar in the U.S.

Ironically, the IUCN has never classified the jaguar as endangered or threatened. Instead, as the USFWS admits in its own draft recovery plan, the IUCN lists the jaguar globally as “Near Threatened.”

The livestock industry further opposes this misguided plan because it threatens the very existence of iconic centuries-old border ranches. It does so by proposing to take away those ranches’ ability to use the waters they own and developed. It would reallocate the use of those waters as “shared” waters for jaguars. It further proposes to set aside vast swaths of currently highly productive and sustainably managed livestock range in AZ/NM as “livestock-free areas.” — all ostensibly for exclusive use by no more than possibly six transient, male jaguars over the course of the next 50 years.

Contrary to the tenor of Mr. Loomis’ article, the predator that ranchers and rational people of common sense fear the most is obviously not the jaguar. Rather, that predator is an overly zealous federal bureaucracy that is completely irrational, bereft of scientific credibility, and clearly out of any semblance of responsible control.