Why do you take action for Arizona’s rivers? Maybe it’s because you love birding along the San Pedro, or maybe your favorite trout stream depends on healthy flows. Perhaps your business relies on certain and stable water supplies, or maybe you just live in the state and want to ensure the long-term sustainability of our cities and towns. Whatever the reason, if you are ready to take action for western rivers, then there is a place for you in WRAN.
That’s why on January 4th, we kicked off the year with a pre-legislative session convening of our Wildlife Resources Partners Group. Participants included Trout Unlimited, the Arizona Elk Society, the Arizona Antelope Foundation, the Arizona Wildlife Federation, the Sonoran Institute, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Arizona Flycasters, Ducks Unlimited, Protect the Flows (Business for Water Stewardship Coalition), the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and others. Legislative updates were received from the Arizona Department of Water Resources’ Doug Dunham, The Nature Conservancy’s Christian Stumpf, Salt River Project’s Megan Martin, Senator Flake’s Arizona Outreach Coordinator Buchanan Davis, Trout Unlimited’s V.P. for Government Affairs, Steve Moyer, and Sarah Greenberger, National Audubon Society's Director of Conservation.
Many opportunities for WRAN’s voice to be heard arose. Among these, the big priorities include:
- Participation in the Arizona Department of Water Resources’ ongoing strategic planning meetings and in the development of their electronic and mobile mapping tool.
- Development of the multi-state Drought Contingency Plan which aims to prevent Lake Mead’s elevation from dropping to critical levels
- Supporting legislation that protects Arizona’s groundwater resources and building consensus against legislation that seeks to weaken or dismantle the Groundwater Management Act of 1980
- Advocating for a properly funded Arizona Department of Water Resources
- Encouraging Governor Doug Ducey to continue and expand his efforts to protect Arizona’s water resources
- Providing ongoing support for the Colorado River Pilot System Conservation Program and other key federal programs that support a healthy Colorado River system
- Continuing to work with Senator Jeff Flake on his Watershed Improvement and Protection legislation
The ongoing health of rivers across the Colorado River Basin depends on careful planning, innovative solutions, and collaboration across all water sectors, users, and stakeholders. We will be tracking these opportunities as the legislative season moves forward and we will not hesitate to put you to action.
The strength of our voice depends on the inclusion of yours, so no matter the reason you take action for western rivers – thank you. We’re all in this together!