Date: 7/20/17 8:45 am From: Brian Jones <ravenwolf121...> Subject: [AZNMbirds] SEAZ: No sightings: Columbus Weed Patch news
I know there was a great deal of concern over the work that Pima County Flood Control District did in the Rillito River at the Columbus Weed Patch hotspot in order to restore flow capacity in the channel, so I wanted to provide an update about the results and some upcoming work the District is being forced to do.
I haven't been to the site myself since the work was done, but one of my colleagues just sent some photos around that show that the revegetation efforts are coming along nicely now that the monsoon rains have come. Trees are bursting out of their anti-browsing cages (which will be removed soon) and the seeds we planted are sprouting. The water harvesting basins the District created were filled with tens of thousands of tadpoles.
As a quasi-official liaison between the District and the birding community, I wanted to make you aware of a situation that has arisen out there. For those who visit this area regularly or watch it closely, you may see some construction folks out there in the coming week or two. Without going into a lot of detail, Flood Control placed the roughly 270,000 cubic yards of material removed from the main channel to a location nearby where it was distributed to create a low, flat, "hill", upon which restoration/revegetation efforts were initiated. Subsequently, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issued the District a violation because the inspector felt that the District didn't take adequate measures to ensure that some of the material removed from the channel wouldn't end up getting washed back into the channel. The Flood Control District strongly disagrees with this determination, but we are currently formulating a plan to abate the violation. This will require the District to construct a berm around the piled material to prevent it from washing back into the main channel. The District is currently trying to figure out the least invasive way of accomplishing this goal. At the same time, the District is consulting with a biology professor at the UofA to not only maintain the newly created toad habitat, but potentially improve it.
Please be aware that the District is NOT going to be significantly altering what we've done out there and that we are not doing this additional work of our own volition.
For the birds!
Brian Jones Tucson, AZ -------- I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.