Select Page

Conservation Planning and Implementation

Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection

Summary

The Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection (Coalition) “works to create a community where: ecosystem health is protected; nature and healthy wild animal populations are valued; and residents, visitors, and future generations can all drink clean water, breathe clean air, and find wild places to roam.” The Coalition’s work is focused primarily in Pima County, Arizona.

Tucson Audubon is a founding member of the Coalition, which today represents 31 environmental and community organizations. The Coalition originally formed to work proactively with local jurisdictions and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the imperiled Pygmy-Owl and to safeguard our region’s rich biological wealth.

The Coalition continues this work today. The Coalition is recognized as a leading advocate for science-based land use planning and implementation, via Pima County’s Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, open space protection initiatives and by promoting the identification, preservation and enhancement of key wildlife linkages in our region.

What We Do

  • Tucson Audubon serves on the Coalition’s Advisory Committee, which advises the Coalition’s priorities, positions and strategies.
  • Tucson Audubon contributes to Coalition comments on policies and development proposals, and lends our expertise and support to Coalition initiatives and events.
  • Tucson Audubon attends important meetings, hearings along with fellow member organizations to advocate to protect and restore ecosystem health and to maintain the natural values that provide for a high quality of life in Pima County.
  • Tucson Audubon has participated in numerous public forums and committees that have supported the development of the MSCP. We have also been a strong advocate for protecting the open space and wildlife linkages that are critical to realizing the broader community vision articulated by Pima County’s Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.

Updates

  • On September 6, 2016, in a historic unanimous 5-0 vote, the Pima County Board of Supervisors gave their final stamp of approval by signing the “Implementation Agreement” for the MSCP, which codifies the respective responsibilities of both the county and FWS. The MSCP will protect 44 Sonoran Desert wildlife species while simultaneously streamlining development
  • In July of 2016, after almost two decades of intensive community planning, Pima County’s Multi-Species Conservation Plan (MSCP, bit.ly/2cyVJTr) was finalized and approved. What began as a contentious, divisive issue when the Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl was first listed as endangered in 1997 has transformed into a visionary conservation plan with broad public support. This transformation has been possible through the strong leadership of Pima County and the active collaboration of many stakeholders, scientists, and concerned citizens.

Related Topics

  • Pima County’s Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and Multi-species Habitat Conservation Plan
Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative

In Brief

The Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative (Desert LCC) is a partnership in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico spearheaded by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Through collaborative partnerships, the Desert LCC seeks to provide scientific and technical support, coordination, and communication to resource managers and the broader Desert LCC community to address climate change and other landscape scale ecosystem stressors. Tucson Audubon is a cooperating organization.

Summary

The Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative (Desert LCC) is a partnership spearheaded by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The Desert LCC is a bi-national, self-directed, non-regulatory regional partnership formed and directed by resource management entities as well as interested public and private entities in the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan Desert regions of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Through collaborative partnerships, the Desert LCC seeks to provide scientific and technical support, coordination, and communication to resource managers and the broader Desert LCC community to address climate change and other landscape scale ecosystem stressors.”

The Desert LCC is currently developing a landscape conservation planning and design (LCPD) process focused on arid grasslands and shrublands, streams and springs in the Madrean Transboundary region, which overlaps with Tucson Audubon’s focal area in southeast Arizona. Tucson Audubon has participated in workshops to learn about the process and to provide stakeholder input. Tucson Audubon has also contributed to the LCPD pilot project nomination process that resulted in the selection and initiation of the Madrean Transboundary LCPD.

What We Do

  • Tucson Audubon is actively participating in the DLCC through facilitated workshops, committees, online seminars and related collaborative initiatives.
  • In 2016, the Desert LCC solicited nominations for LCPD pilot regions. Tucson Audubon joined with Audubon Arizona, Cascabel Conservation Association, Friends of the San Pedro River, Lower San Pedro Watershed Alliance and Wildlands Network to nominate the San Pedro River Watershed. We also endorsed a larger Madrean Transboundary region nominated by Wildlands Network et al. These two nominations were ultimately combined and selected as one of three LCPDs.
  • Tucson Audubon looks forward to continuing involvement in this science-based, non-regulatory endeavor, which we anticipate will lead to new partnerships, information sharing, project opportunities and resources. LCCs leverage public/private partnerships that can accelerate collaborative research, conservation and restoration in our region.
  • Tucson Audubon endorses the LCC’s proactive approach to conservation planning, and advocates for adequate funding to continue these efforts.

Background

The Landscape Conservation Cooperative Network was established in response to Department of Interior Secretarial Order 3289, which directed Department of the Interior bureaus to “stimulate the development of the LCC network as a response to landscape-scale stressors, including climate change”. Since that time, twenty two regional LCCs have been established.

 

Among them is the Desert LCC, which covers a large area encompassing the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan Desert regions of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The Desert LCC has undertaken a landscape conservation planning and design (LCPD) process focused on arid grasslands and shrublands, streams and springs in three key regions: Mojave desert, Dos Rios and the Madrean Transboundary.

The LCCs are soliciting cross-disciplinary input, developing useful tools, solutions and climate change adaptation measures. This integrative, inclusive and forward-thinking approach is what is needed to meet the natural resource management challenges posed by climate change and other growing environmental stressors.

Update

  • On September 21-22, 2016 the Desert LCC held a binational (and bilingual) workshop in Tucson at the University of Arizona. This workshop solicited input from participating organizations and stakeholders, including Tucson Audubon, to help craft a landscape conservation design for the Transboundary Madrean Watersheds area. To see the agenda, video of presentations and other workshop resources, visit this webpage. This facilitated, interactive workshop included presentations, and breakout work groups that focused on:
  1. The importance of the Transboundary Madrean Watersheds landscape and management challenges and opportunities in this region.
  2. Landscape Conservation Planning and Design process, progress, desired outcomes, and available data and tools.
  3. Shared conservation goals in the Madrean landscape.
  4. Priority resources (species/communities, ecosystem, ecosystem services, and socio-cultural) for the Madrean landscape to inform subsequent analysis, scenario development and spatial design.
  5. Locally relevant strategies to achieve shared conservation goals.
  • In 2016, two LCPD nominations (San Pedro Watershed and Madrean Transboundary) were combined and selected as one of three LCPDs in the greater planning region.
  • In 2015, the Desert LCC solicited nominations for LCPD pilot regions. Tucson Audubon joined with Audubon Arizona, Cascabel Conservation Association, Friends of the San Pedro River, Lower San Pedro Watershed Alliance and Wildlands Network to nominate the San Pedro River Watershed. We also endorsed a larger Madrean Transboundary region nominated by Wildlands Network et al.

External Resources

Pima County’s Multi-species Habitat Conservation Plan

Summary

Pima County’s MSCP is part of its application for an Incidental Take Permit (under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act) to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The 30-year permit allows the county to “harass, harm or kill” species covered by the permit, but only for specified activities associated with otherwise lawful development. The MSCP will protect 44 Sonoran Desert wildlife species while simultaneously streamlining development approvals.

What began as a contentious, divisive issue when the Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl was first listed as endangered in 1997 has transformed into a visionary conservation plan with broad public support. This transformation has been possible through the strong leadership of Pima County and the active collaboration of many stakeholders, scientists, and concerned citizens. Through intensive stakeholder engagement and collaboration, the plan has garnered support from both conservationists and developers alike.

What We Do

  • Tucson Audubon has participated in numerous public forums and committees that have supported the development of the MSCP. We have also been a strong advocate for protecting the open space and wildlife linkages that are critical to realizing the broader community vision articulated by Pima County’s Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.
  • Tucson Audubon has contributed to detailed comments on numerous drafts of the Multi-species Habitat Conservation Plan.
  • Tucson Audubon tracks the implementation of Pima County’s Multi-species Habitat Conservation Plan and the Marie Beehan Conservation Lands System.
  • Tucson Audubon Tucson Audubon helped to found the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, which today represents 40 environmental and community organizations. The Coalition originally formed to work proactively with local jurisdictions and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the imperiled Pygmy-Owl and to safeguard our region’s rich biological wealth.

Updates

  • On September 6, 2016, in a historic unanimous 5-0 vote, the Pima County Board of Supervisors gave their final stamp of approval by signing the “Implementation Agreement” for the MSCP, which codifies the respective responsibilities of both the county and FWS. The MSCP will protect 44 Sonoran Desert wildlife species while simultaneously streamlining development
  • In July of 2016, after almost two decades of intensive community planning, Pima County’s Multi-Species Conservation Plan (MSCP, bit.ly/2cyVJTr) was finalized and approved. What began as a contentious, divisive issue when the Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl was first listed as endangered in 1997 has transformed into a visionary conservation plan with broad public support. This transformation has been possible through the strong leadership of Pima County and the active collaboration of many stakeholders, scientists, and concerned citizens.

Related Topics

  • Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan

External Resources

 

 

Wildlife Linkages

Summary

Habitat fragmentation is one of the leading causes of extinction. With our natural areas and parks becoming increasingly ringed with development, wildlife are being cut off from the habitats and resources they need to access to survive, reproduce and exchange genetic material. Protecting and restoring connective habitats between our public lands and across state and international boundaries is an important strategy to counter the deleterious impacts of development, transportation infrastructure and other human-created barriers to the free movement of wildlife and ecosystem processes.

What We Do

  • Advocate for the consideration and integration of linkages and other connective habitats in the configuration of new development proposals.
  • Member group of the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, which focuses on the study and implementation of wildlife linkages in Pima County.
  • Serve on RTA wildlife linkages subcommittee
  • Conduct ecological restoration to enhance natural and designed wildlife linkages.

Updates

Oracle Road Widening / Overpass + Underpass (article?)

Letters

External Resources

  • Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection
  • Regional Transportation Authority
  • Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan
  • Arizona Wildlife Linkages Assessment
  • Missing Linkages Designs (corridordesign.org)
  • SR77 Report by Jeff Gagnon

email-iconSign up for email updates. Stay Informed!

Choose from weekly updates, volunteer news, conservation alerts, Paton Center news, Habitat at Home news and more.

Sign up here

color_square_face_right

 


Tucson Audubon Society

300 E University Blvd. #120
Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

 

 

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624