Thu 28 Jul 2011
“In this sometimes turbulent world, the river is a cosmic symbol of durability
and destiny; awesome, but steadfast. In this period of deep national concern,
I wish everyone could live for a while beside a great river.”
– Helen Hayes, American actor
We can’t disguise it. This is an appeal for support. But we’ll keep it brief.
You and I both know that Arizona’s environment has taken some big hits, policy-wise, in 2010. The Arizona legislature raised the politics of distraction to a new (and highly unprofessional) level, drowning reason in a rising ocean of ideology. Arizona’s parks and environmental protections suffered greatly at the hands of our legislature this session.
The message couldn’t be clearer. It’s going to be up to the citizens to protect our rivers.
And not a minute too soon.
In 2006, Shaun McKinnon and the Arizona Republic printed a scathing series on Arizona’s ruined rivers.
Ruined. Their word. Sadly, it’s an apt description.
Since then, some things have gotten better. And Arizona Rivers board members and staff have been hard at work. Fossil Creek has been restored with full flows, native fish stockings, and multiple bankside clean-ups. In 2009, this incredible stream received federal Wild and Scenic River designation, and a comprehensive resource management plan is in the works. The Verde River gained national attention as an American Rivers “Most Endangered River” in 2006, and grassroots opposition to the Big Chino pipeline — as well as the economic slowdown — has put the biggest individual threat to the Verde on a back burner for the time-being. Most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court gave Arizona’s rivers a boost by refusing to take the state’s side on the navigability issue, which means that the federal government can indeed protect rivers.
But too much hasn’t changed since the Arizona Republic report – and in some cases, things have even gotten worse. The San Pedro River barely flows in the summer. The Verde River is still facing the threat of depletion due to population growth, development, and diversion. The Salt River is still dammed and is, in most places throughout the Phoenix area, a dry wash. The Santa Cruz River through Tucson only flows in response to storms and sewage treatment plant returns.
Your support for Arizona Rivers could, in fact, change history for Arizona’s rivers.
Your support for Arizona Rivers could write a new story – one that profiles recovery, not ruination.
Please support Arizona Rivers.
We work for rivers, and we work for you. We educate the public, and gather comments in support of greater river protections (as with the Fossil Creek Comprehensive River Management Plan expected in 2012). We contribute commentary and technical information to the media, to blogs, and to investigative reporters throughout Arizona who cover river issues. We continue to engage in the public process to protect the Verde River from the proposed Big Chino pipeline and other threats. We build grassroots campaigns.
Over the next ten years, we’ll lead a collaborative “10 in 10” campaign with conservation partners and citizens from all over Arizona to single out 10 of Arizona’s imperiled rivers for special attention and protection through Wild and Scenic Rivers Act designation. Building this grassroots effort takes a steady flow of revenue – a river of support. Please be as generous as you can. Arizona’s rivers need you.
You can make your donation via Paypal on our Membership and Donations page. Checks can also be mailed to 1639 W. Roma Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85015.
Thank you, as ever, for your support and camaraderie!
Michelle T. Harrington
P.S. Please mark your calendars for Friday, August 5 at 5:30 p.m., for a special evening featuring the Verde River Exhibit and a reading by Thomas Lowe Fleischner from his new book “The Way of Natural History.” The event will be held at the lovely Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road. Hope to see you there! MAP