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River Run Network Blog

Jonah Ivy at Beavers and Brews.
May 24th, 2022 Good news! Last week, the Bureau of Land Management took the next step to re-establish beavers in Las Ciénegas National Conservation Area by posting its Environmental Assessment on this proposal, which has been years in the making. WMG's community has been working to re-establish beavers in Ciénega Creek since 2019 through public education, advocacy, and our recent Beaver Practitioners Workshop right at Las Ciénegas National Conservation Area. Thank you to all the WMG...
Watercolor of beaver at Ciénega Creek.
May 9th, 2022 Right now, we have a chance to help bring beavers back to Ciénega Creek! The Bureau of Land Management in Arizona is deciding whether to move forward with a proposal to re-establish beavers in Las Ciénegas National Conservation Area near Vail. As beaver believers, WMG strongly supports this plan – beavers were long-term inhabitants of our desert rivers until the rise of fur trapping in the 1800’s, and they play a key role in slowing down flows, improving water quality and...
The Monsoon In the context of rain, every summer from June 15 to September 30, the city of Tucson witnesses one of the most anticipated rain seasons by its residents: the Monsoon. The Arizona Monsoon is part of the North American monsoon, which covers the West Coast of Mexico and the Desert Southwest of the United States. At the beginning of June, the high temperatures of the Sonoran Desert and Mexico increase the atmospheric pressure and join the winds of the Gulf of Mexico and the...
Bike Ride Santa Cruz River
We had a fantastic bilingual bike ride with River Run Network members on Saturday, January 23rd! We started at Las Milpitas, where we were able to tour an amazing community farm, and then we took a bike ride along the Santa Cruz River on The Loop. Las Milpitas is a true example of community sustainability and resilience in action, and we are so grateful that they showed us around their farm with an English and Spanish tour. We also got to see flow in the Santa Cruz, and talked about our...
Looking down into a beaver lodge.
What is the Binational Beaver Survey? This November and December, WMG launched its first-ever Binational Beaver Survey - an on-the-ground effort to assess how many beavers are living along the San Pedro River and some of its main tributaries on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. This data will provide information needed to support healthy beaver populations along the San Pedro long-term so that beavers can encourage healthy ecosystems by slowing down river flow, sinking groundwater,...
Watershed Management Group, through the River Run Network Program, is excited to tackle the removal of an invasive species, Arundo donax (giant reed), from along Tanque Verde Creek in east Tucson. We are thankful for funding support from the Arizona State Department of Forestry and Fire Management through their Invasive Plant Removal program and also supportive landowners along the Tanque Verde Creek with whom we are coordinating removal efforts. Arundo is classified as a noxious weed...
On October 9th, community members joined River Run Network program manager, Lauren Monheim, for a creek walk along the Santa Cruz River in Marana! The spot that we visited has been flowing perennially for many years now with the release of effluent flow from the Tres Rios Water Treatment Plant. During our walk, we had the opportunity to see plenty of insect species that can typically be found in areas with flow, as well as evidence of animals that had been through the area recently....
On October 16th, members of the River Run Network joined WMG staff for a restoration workshop in the beautiful Ciénega Creek in the Horseshoe Bosque near Vail! With the guidance of Catlow Shipek, WMG's Policy & Technical Director, and James Lauder, Project Manager,  we were able to identify areas of the wash where WMG had previously done "beavering" work, our word for building dams from natural materials to slow water flow. We spent the morning repairing these dams to hold up...
On August 26, we had a thought-provoking and grounding River Run Network event where we learned about the perspectives and ancestral knowledge of rivers from two local leaders: Josefina Cardenas of Barrio Kroeger Lane, and David Tenario of the San Xavier District of the Tohono O'odham Nation. Josefina got us started by speaking about the spiritual significance of the Santa Cruz River as well as our washes and creeks, including the tradition of Dia de San Juan — a yearly celebration of...
Cienega Creek
The Cienega Creek Natural Preserve was established in 1986 under a resolution passed by the Pima County Board of Supervisors that authorized the Director of the Regional Flood Control District to acquire designated lands along the Cienega Creek corridor to preserve riparian habitat, reduce peak stormwater flows, and facilitate groundwater recharge.  The ranch lands along the creek had been degraded through historic overgrazing, dirt roads, and sand and gravel mining. In 1974, 20 acres...

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