Status update for 4/14 to 4/27 (all updates are currently available here). There were no deaths during this period. Five lambs have been observed and another video of the lambs has been released. The update makes some notes about fire regarding management options, fires that have burned in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness and it’s impact on habitat – interesting for the perspective and historical details.
The Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club has sent and published letters expressing concern over the Bighorn reintroduction to Arizona Game and Fish and the Coronado National Forest. I thought the questions about habitat that both letters raised were interesting – they note the decision to go ahead with this project even though much of the habitat the sheep were released into was rated ‘poor to fair’ and inability of the project to address development around the mountain which may have been a factor in their disappearance. Also mentioned in the letters are potential impacts to the Wilderness values of the area and a request for information on/evaluation of the impacts on the Bighorn Sheep populations where individuals have been removed for translocation. The letters and some brief reactions are covered in this article from the Arizona Daily Star – in the article a representative from Arizona Game and Fish states that “a decision has not been made yet on whether to proceed with plans to release another 30 bighorn sheep in the Catalinas this fall”.
The annual restrictions on off-trail travel in the Bighorn Management Area ended April 30 – it will be interesting to see if hikers begin to report seeing the sheep and if that has an impact on public opinion, although the temperatures in Tucson at the moment are less than ideal for exploring the Pusch Ridge area…
On Thursday, May 1, there was a public meeting about the Recreation Concept Plan for Sabino Canyon – Tucson News Now reports that “Several issues were brought up for discussion, including parking improvements, an eco-friendly shuttle system, new shuttle routes, extended bicycle hours and improved signage along the trails and expanding the current visitor’s center, among many other sggestions.” The article also notes that comments can be emailed to Linda Stamer at [email protected] until 6/1.
Canceled race leaves many Mt. Lemmon marathon runners without refunds – at least some entrants to the canceled The Mount Lemmon Marathon have not received refunds of their entry fees. A May 2 message on the Mount Lemmon Marathon notes the the event will no longer operate under the current owner and states:
“As of today the MLM staff is working on getting refunds set to send out. We do apologize it has taken so long. The operating costs of this events are very high and there are a number of event costs that we could not recoup. Our goal is to have refunds sent out with in two weeks. Do to the expenses involved, registration cmpany costs, medals, ins. etc. the refund amount will reflect some of the operational losses.”
4/30 – Reports from KGUN9 and Tucson New Now of an injured hiker being helped by PCSD and Rural Metro – I did not see any additional details but in the KGUN9 article the picture shows cars parked at Hairpin Turn near the base of the mountain.