Source: Short Essay by Arizona Heritage Alliance Advocacy Chair – Thom Hulen, July 2018
The Rio Salado Reimagined (RSR) event, hosted by Arizona Forward and held on May 31, 2018 was inspiring on many levels. First, as a person who grew up in South Phoenix and worked at an institution bordering the Salt River for many years it has been a dream of mine to see the Salt River restored to a stateresembling its past grandeur.
Second, I believe as a society we should use our resources in a manner that reflects our values, andwe have undervalued the Salt River and prevented its potential as an amenity for residents and visitors for too long.
When I was growing up the Salt River was viewed as a sand and gravel mines, landfills, stray dogs, and places for homeless people to live. There were patches of wildlife habitat here and there and in areas protected from flooding remnants of prehistoric and historic canals.
The presentations at the event focused on what other communities have done to enhance or recover river channels dissecting their towns and cities. Los Angeles, CA and San Antonio, TX. Each city has its challenges and goals, but the cities that the Salt River courses through can achieve a spectacular success in creating wildlife habitat, amenities such as parks, ecological services (fresh air, flood control, reducing urban heat island effects) and opportunities for economic development.
Most people, all the people I discussed this project with, agree there is great potential for the Reimagining of the Salt River project. The conflicts, which are serious and can be solved, arises out of vision and paying for the vision or visions selected.
Visions and costs are intertwined. This is our reality and there will be significant compromise on a visions or visions. One extreme is vision is to remake the entire Salt River bed a breathtaking riparian zone filled with native plants and wildlife, a bird watchers dream! Another extreme vision is to see the river’s channel lined with businesses and housing interrupted by a lake of two, golf courses, parks, and a few natural riparian areas. In this extreme vision there will be probably no allowances for the displaced homeless and the residential housing will be little or no affordable housing.
There will be plenty of opportunities for public participation in the planning and implementation of the Salt River through the Rio Salado Reimagining project. During this process I can see the Arizona Heritage Alliance taking a role in helping make the project a success for all Arizonans, not just those fortunate to afford a river front view.
I use restoration carefully because I believe that something that took millions of years to form can hardly be “restored” in a few years by humans. In many cases it is not desirable to be returned to its native state, but when I tour the Salt River near the Audubon Arizona site I think we can get close enough to a state where humans. plants and wildlife can thrive.
When Bill Woodin was 6, he captured a snake that gave birth to 52 offspring in a single day. At age 11, he was photographed in the Sonoran Desert near Tucson holding a gopher snake longer than he was. At age 12, he charmed the Tucson Rotary Club with a snake talk.
These childhood events symbolized a lifelong love affair with the desert and its wildlife that crystallized in Woodin’s tenure as executive director of the Arizona- Sonora Desert Museum from 1954 to 1971. The museum’s second director, Woodin still has the longest tenure of any director in its 66-year history. He played a key role in building the museum into one of the top 10 zoological museums in the United States and making it an inte! rnational tourist attraction. ‘He was a living legend for all of those involved in the museum,’ said Craig Ivanyi, the museum’s director since 2010. ‘His passion and fingerprints are still there, found throughout this organization. He’s kind of into the fabric of its DNA.’
Woodin died in March at age 92, at the adobe ranch house on a 40-acre parcel bisected by Sabino Creek where he had lived since the early 1950s. His second wife, Beth, a longtime conservation activist and a former Desert Museum trustee, died in January at 71. A memorial service for both will be held May 27 at the museum.
Woodin as director shaped the museum’s future as much as any individual, after its initial vision was laid down by its co-founder and first director William Carr and co-founder and financial benefactor Arthur Pack. Carr resigned after barely two year! s due to ill health after the museum opened on Labor Day 1952. Woodin’s work catapulted the museum into a site whose visitors during his tenure included Eleanor Roosevelt and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
He inherited a facility with annual visitation of about 160,000. The year before he left, attendance had grown to 302,000. Today, the museum draws about 400,000 annual visitors.
Born William Woodin III, his introduction to the Sonoran Desert came at age 4 in 1930, when his parents moved the family to Tucson from his native New York City. His grandfather, also named William Woodin, was President Franklin Roosevelt’s first treasury secretary, instrumental in shaping Roosevelt’s declaration of a bank holiday in 1933 that helped rescue the then-ailing financial system during the peak of the Great Depression.
William III’s father, William Woodin II, and his mother, Carolyn Hyde, had a house built along a dirt Wilmot Road near Speedway, recalled Peter Woodin, a son of the former museum director. It was one of a handful of houses existing that far east in Tucson at the time. A neighboring home belonged to novelist Harold Bell Wright, for whom the Harold Bell Wright Estates neighborhood is now named.
Woodin’s parents were divorced in the 1930s. His mother married nationally known horse breeder Melville Haskell. They raised Woodin on a horse farm near the Rillito River near Swan Road. Haskell was a founder of the American Quarter Horse Association.
Woodin left and returned to Tucson several times, graduating from high school in California, getting a bachelor’s in zoology at the University of Arizona and a master’s in zoology at the University of ! California, Berkeley.
! In pursuit of his master’s degree, in 1950, he identified a kingsnake species in the Huachuca Mountains, where he and his first wife, the former Ann Snow, were camped out. The species was later named after him: lampropeltis pyromelana woodini .
He started as a volunteer for the Desert Museum before it opened, and later became a staff zoologist and deputy director until taking over as director in December 1954. The museum was in a financial crisis, with benefactor Pack having pulled back his support by then. The staff had been cut to five and the museum budget was $60,000. (Its current staff and annual budget are 140 and about $9.5 million, respectively.) Woodin embarked on a period of expansion, and introduced the museum’s first admission charge: 50 cents for adults and a quarter for kids.
Under him, the m! useum built an underground tunnel where visitors could see bat-roost systems, bats nesting in caves, foxes snoozing in dens and snakes nesting, wrote the Saturday Evening Post in a 1962 profile of Woodin titled, ‘People on the way up.’ A museum exhibit called Water Street made an early pitch for saving water in the desert.
Also came exhibits and enclosures for amphibians, black bears, birds, tortoises, otters, coatimundis and other small animals, an aquarium room, artificial habitats using rocks to look like natural habitats, and a vampire bat cave. The museum’s renowned Desert Ark TV program also began under Woodin.
Woodin was always willing to allow his staff to try new things and ideas, encouraging creative people to design exhibits that were copied around the country and around the world, said Peggy Larson, the museum’s archivist.
He was called ‘the most promising young naturalist in the United States’ by Roy Chapman Andrews, a former American Museum of Natural History director, an Asian explorer and an early Desert Museum trustee, the Saturday Evening Post article reported.
But Woodin gave the job up in 1971 on deciding ’17 years was enough,’ said his son Peter. He wanted to concentrate on another lifelong passion, small arms ammunition used by the U.S. military. He spent most of the rest of his life writing a three-volume history on the subject, publishing the final volume in 2015. He also compiled ‘one of the great collections of ammunition in the world,’ said a second son, Hugh Woodin.
He kept the collection at his Woodin Laboratory, built in 1973 and now a 3,000-square-foot underground vault, built of masonry block and reinforced concrete slabs. The laboratory, tracing the ev! olution of small arms ammunition, contains many thousands of specimens, many of which are the only ones of their kind, says a 2010 article about the laboratory in the publication Small Arms Review. The laboratory is a private, nonprofit foundation and educational institute. The family has kept its location private for security reasons.
In an interview in the Small Arms Review, Woodin credited his stepfather for his interest in guns. He said Haskell introduced him to shooting at an early age and ‘instilled in me a real respect for guns and gun safety.
‘To this day, I get the creeps when someone points anything at me, even a finger,’ Woodin told the interviewer.
He also compulsively collected snakes for most of his life, at one time simultaneously owning a green rock rattlesnake and two large kingsnakes. He often prowled aroun! d the desert at night with a flashlight, stick and burlap bag, searchin! g for specimens, and kept bobcats at his home as a hobby. Woodin used to keep his favorite snakes inside sacks in the living room until his wife Ann domesticated him, the Saturday Evening Post article said.
‘It was a terrible sight when the sacks wandered around at night,’ said Ann Woodin, who also forbade her four sons from bringing snakes to the dinner table. Ann, an author, naturalist and community volunteer and activist, died in 2017 at age 90.
Woodin is survived by four sons: Peter, a lawyer and fulltime mediator in New York City; Hugh, a professor of philosophy and mathematics at Harvard University; John, a contractor in Tucson; and Michael, a painter and photographer in Tucson. He also had eight grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
Contact reporter Tony Davis at tdavis! @tucson.com or 806-7746
Source: KJZZ Press Release by Tom Macedon, April 12, 2018
A bill currently working its way through the Arizona Legislature could impact how archaeological evaluations are conducted on state lands and it may conflict with state and federal laws already on the books. House Bill 2498 passed on a party-line vote by the Arizona Senate earlier this week and is now back in the House for reconciliation. Currently, the Arizona Antiquities Act ensures archaeological work is conducted by degreed professionals who are issued a permit by Arizona. If signed into law, the bill would significantly reduce the qualifications necessary to conduct archaeological studies aimed at preserving history on state lands.
Daniel Garcia, spokesperson for the Arizona Archaeological Council, a nonprofit organization of cultural heritage professionals, said the organization opposes the legislation. “Using volunteers and para professionals to do the work of professional archaeologists has the potential to wind up destroying archaeological sites in Arizona, inadvertently more than likely,” said Garcia. “Although, since ranchers who are doing these improvements can become certified para-archaeologists themselves, it brings up a conflict of interest in how they proceed with improvements on their leased lands.”
When it comes to making minor enhancements to state lands they lease, Garcia said he understands ranchers’ complaints about the current law in place. However, the language in this bill uses undefined terms. “Because the term ‘range land improvement’ is not defined, we don’t really know what it includes. Most of those terms are defined in law somewhere, but not range land improvement. I searched high and low for it,” he said. Garcia said unqualified personnel run the risk of violating Arizona cultural resource laws and federal law such as the National Historic Preservation Act and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.
By contrast, lobbyist Patrick Bray, executive vice president for the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, whose organization supports HB 2498, said the government red tape for permitting is at an all-time high. “For the past four years, we’ve been caught in a bureaucratic nightmare that has stalled projects that has caused us to lose federal partners and funding and if we don’t figure out how to get it back on track, it’s a serious threat that we will lose federal dollars and other funding partners to get critical projects done, not only for the ranches but that benefit the landscape and wildlife as well,” Bray said.
Bray said he doesn’t understand why a certified archaeologist must be involved in every step of the process when others who attend a cultural resources class offered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service can be trained to do a lot of the preliminary work. “And so his report would go to a professional archaeologist that held the license. That individual would check to make sure that person did his job,” said Bray. “It’s kind of like the equivalent of if you go into a doctor’s office the nurse sees you first, does the vitals and then that information is passed up to the doctor.”
But Arizona lawmakers like Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai, who voted against the legislation, isn’t buying the analogy. “This is almost like having somebody watch ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ on TV and then going in to do brain surgery,” said Peshlakai. Peshlakai, who is Navajo, thinks it is insensitive that the bill was drafted without participation from Native Americans. “One of the things I mentioned in the Senate is that for Native Americans who live here, our history is not part of civics. It’s not part of textbooks,” said Peshlakai. “We have our own challenges trying to give our children pride in who they are and teach them about their roots. We know a lot about ourselves now, because of archaeologists. ”
Peshlakai and others are convinced the bill will face legal challenges if the reconciled version passes again in the House and is signed by Gov. Doug Ducey.
Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department release – March 19, 2018
On March 7, 2018 at the Arizona Game and Fish Commission meeting held in Douglas, Arizona, the 2018 Heritage Fund Grants were announced. Heritage Fund money comes from Arizona Lottery ticket sales and was established by voter initiative in 1990. Heritage funding goes toward conservation efforts such as protecting endangered species, educating students and the general public about wildlife and the outdoors, and creating new opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The Heritage Fund Grant Program was established by the Arizona Game and Fish Department in 1992 as part of the overall Heritage Fund program. The grants program initially was developed as a way to promote outreach in order to enhance important partnerships and generate fresh approaches in support of the department’s mission. Since inception, the department has had the opportunity to award more than $16 million through the Heritage Fund grants program and support more than 800 projects throughout the state.
A total of $412,000 was available for the 2018 grant cycle and was awarded through a competitive application process in various categories (Environmental Education, Outdoor Education, Schoolyard Habitat, Urban Wildlife/Habitat, Public Access, and IIAPM). This year the agency scored 54 Heritage grant proposals. Below are the grant awardees and the grant amount awarded.
Outdoor Education(OE) AZGFD scored seven proposals and the amount available is $16,000. The following five applicants are awarded a 2018 Outdoor Education Heritage Grant:
Pendergast Elementary School District, Copper King, for the project titled “Copper King STEAM Goes Overboard.” The award amount is $ 2,500.00.
Flagstaff Unified School District, Eva Marshall Magnet Elementary School, for the project titled “Marshall’s 2nd Grade Outdoor Curriculum Experience.” The award amount is $ 2,276.00.
Oak Creek Watershed Council, for the project titled “Oak Creek Water Quality Field Days.” The award amount is $ 2,170.00.
Gilbert Public Schools, Superstition Springs Elementary School, for the project titled “Second Grade Butterfly Wonderland Field Trip.” The award amount is $ 800.00.
Arizona Trail Association, for the project titled “Arizona Trail Wildlife CAM (Conservation and Monitoring).” The award amount is $ 2,500.00.
Environmental Education(EE) the agency scored a total of nine proposals and the amount available is $16,000. The following four applicants are awarded a 2018 Environmental Education Heritage Grant:
Arizona Board of Regents on Behalf of ASU, Tempe and Polytechnic Campuses, for the project titled “Cultivating Life in the Sonoran Desert.” The award amount is $6,825.00.
Arizona Wildlife Federation, for the project titled “Audio Guides to the Raymond Wildlife Area and Morman Lake Arizona Watchable Wildlife Experience.” The award amount is $7,665.00.
Arizona State Parks, Red Rock State Park, for the project titled “Wildlife Tracking with Technology.” The award amount is $2,250.00.
Snowflake Unified School District, Snowflake Jr. High, for the project titled “Technology and Wildlife Collision Reduction.” The award amount is $5,000.00.
Schoolyard Habitat(SCHOOLYARD) scored a total of five proposals and the amount available is $30,000. The following four applicants are awarded a 2018 Schoolyard Heritage Grant:
Wickenburg Conservation Foundation, for the project titled “Outdoor Environmental Classroom.” The award amount is $1,715.00.
Pine Forest School, for the project titled “Cedar Forest’s Children’s Garden: Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat and Learning Wonderland.” The award amount is $10,000.00.
Osborn School District, for the project titled “Desert Tortoise Habitat to Facilitate Outdoor Learning at Solano Elementary School.” The award amount is $1,000.00.
Maine Consolidated School District, for the project titled “Northern Arizona Bat Habitat and Sanctuary.” The award amount is $1,329.00.
Urban Wildlife(URBAN) We scored a total of twenty proposals and the amount available is $100,000. The following five applicants are awarded a 2018 URBAN Heritage Grant:
Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival, for the project titled “Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival: Wildlife Focused Festival.” The award amount is $5,000.00.
City of Phoenix, Parks and Recreation, for the project titled “Papago Park All-Access Fishing Dock.” The award amount is $33,000.00.
Willow Bend Environmental Education Center, for the project titled “Habitat Restoration and Watchable Wildlife Enhancement at Sawmill/Willow Bend AWWE Site.” The award amount is $38,337.00.
Friends of Verde River Greenway, for the project titled “Verde Tour-An Addition to the Arizona Watchable Wildlife Experience Program – Phase 1.” The award amount is $14,166.00.
Catalina Foothills School District, for the project titled “Critter Cams for Kids.” The award amount is $4,475.00.
Public Access(ACCESS) We scored a total of four proposals and the amount available is $50,000. The following two applicants are awarded a 2018 ACCESS Heritage Grant:
Town of Sahuarita, for the project titled “Sahuarita Lake Public Access for Persons with Disabilities Phase 2.” The award amount is $7,705.00.
City of Holbrook, for the project titled “Holbrook’s Public Access to Recreation Area.” The award amount is $42,165.00.
Identification, Inventory, Acquisition, Protection and Management(IIAPM) We scored a total of nine proposals and the amount available is $200,000. The following four applicants are awarded a 2018 IIAPM Heritage Grant:
Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona, for the project titled “Status, Distribution, Habitat, and Stressors of the Sonoran Talussnail.” The award amount is $40,301.00
Phoenix Zoo, for the project titled “Monitoring Fecal Gluticosteroids and Behavior to Assist in Developing a Propagation for Release Program for the Critically Endangered Mt. Graham Red Squirrel.” The award amount is $57,804.00.
Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona, for the project titled “Soft-release Translocation Techniques to Maximize Fidelity to Release Site in Red Squirrels.” The award amount is $61,895.00.
Idaho Department of Fish and Game, for the project titled “Development of YY Male Technology for Eradicating Undesirable Invasive Fish Populations in Arizona.” The award amount is $40,000.00.