Beating the Heat: Arizona WRAN News – June 2016

As temperatures rise to record-levels across Arizona, many of us seek refuge along our rivers.  After all, what better way to escape the heat than a kayak run down the Verde, a birding expedition along the San Pedro, or a fly fishing trip on the upper Black?  We’re not alone in our reliance on western rivers – they support our wildlife, habitats, communities and economies as well.

Despite the heat, the Network is working hard to protect flow for natural areas and to put you to action doing the same.  Read on to learn more about how you can help us protect your favorite riparian summer getaway.

Talking Water: An AZ-WRAN Webinar Series

When navigating the ongoing water planning discussions being had across Arizona and the southwest, do you ever wonder what complex issues like the Lake Mead structural deficit and groundwater adjudications have to do with flow for natural areas, habitats, and wildlife?  Understanding these connections is key to being an effective advocate for western rivers, and we’re here to help!

During our summer webinar series, we’ll be exploring these issues and others such as diversity and inclusion in conservation action, river funding and restoration efforts, and more.  These webinars will begin on July 20th at noon and will recur on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month through September.  Click here to check out the full schedule and register today!

Putting Our Priorities on the Map: Long-Term Water Planning

“We can do better.” - Tom Buschatzke, Director, Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR)

We applaud Tom Buschatzke for his commitment to seeking opportunities for public input in the ongoing work of the Governor’s Water Augmentation Council (GWAC), which has been tasked with investigating long-term water augmentation strategies to help secure water supplies for Arizona’s future.  We are eager to be a part of this effort, and we’re making that eagerness known.

As part of the Governor’s Arizona Water Initiative, the ADWR is gathering input and holding meetings to engage stakeholders in developing strategies to deal with projected water supply/demand imbalances. The result will be a long-term water plan that will impact how water is managed in Arizona into the future.

With so many stakeholders in the room, it would be easy for flow for natural areas to get lost in the shuffle. It’s WRAN job to make sure that doesn’t happen.  Check out our WRAN Planning Map – our way of showing the ADWR where flow for natural areas is critical – and stay tuned to learn how you can be a part of the planning process.

Showcasing the Resource: Connecting People with Western Rivers

Is there any way to more effectively demonstrate the value of Arizona’s rivers than to get people out to visit them themselves?  We don’t think so, which is why we have to take the time to thank the Northern Arizona Audubon Society (NAAS) and the towns of Camp Verde, Cottonwood, and Clarkdale.

Last month, NAAS officially dedicated the Bubbling Ponds at Page Springs Fish Hatchery Preserve and 1.8 miles of trail within the Lower Oak Creek Important Bird Area.  By partnering with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, NAAS is helping connect people with nature in a way that is sure to benefit western rivers.  Similarly, the towns of Camp Verde and Cottonwood are each hard at work developing river management plans that will include a watchable wildlife component. Clarkdale also has a plan, one that protects both the recreational and wildlife values of the river, already in place. These efforts to connect communities, economies, and natural resources bodes greatly for the Verde River.

As always, thank you for your commitment to conservation and flow for natural areas across the Colorado River Basin.  Be sure to check our website often for news and upcoming opportunities, and be sure to add the Bubbling Ponds at Page Springs Fish Hatchery Preserve to your summer outing list!

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