Redington Pass Closure, Shifting Ground, Guided Hikes, Fall Colors, Bighorn Sheep Update

Redington Pass shooting area closure extended Cleanup work continues in the area – The Forest Service has extended the closure (details below) indefinitely to allow for clean up of several recreational shooting sites between Mileposts 5 and 7 on Redington Road .  The clean-up – which includes removal of soil with high lead concentrations – is currently expected to be completely mid-November. The press release also mentions that a Redington Pass Collaborative Management Plan is being developed that is “intended to increase visitor safety, enhance multiple uses and recreational experiences, and minimize user conflicts.” The Friends of Redington Pass is one group to explore if you are interested in this area.

Prohibited activities include parking a motorized vehicle between Mile Markers 5.0 and 7.0 along Pima County Road 371, and discharging a firearm, air rifle, paint ball gun, gas gun or archery equipment between Mile Markers 5.0 and 7.0, or within 0.6 miles of that segment of the road.

County testing for shifting ground under Catalina Highway; blame Aspen wildfire, KGUN9, Maggie Vespa – The article expands on the information available on the Pima County Website about construction on the Mount Lemmon Highway and talks specifically about the installation of monitors to detect ground movement. The county states that greater run-off after the fires is creating more stress on the highway infrastructure – but also says there is “no reason to worry”. (Expect construction above San Pedro Vista thru mid-November – delays are expected weekdays between the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. – possibly with a reduction to one lane and temporary closures to safely position heavy equipment.)

Guided Hikes in Catalina State Park in October – on the 12th, 19th and 26th there will be guided hikes in Catalina State Park – hopefully with nice cool temperatures as we move into Fall!

Autumn in Tucson: Lederhosen and leaves – Arizona Daily Star,  Ann Brown – A nice article mentioning a number of reasonably easy to access places on the mountains to see fall colors. The article also mentions the Oktoberfest at Mount Lemmon Ski Valley – Saturdays and Sundays 11:45 a.m.-5 p.m. thru October 12.

The Bighorn Sheep Restoration Project Status update for 9/15 to 9/28 is available (all updates are currently available here) – This updates includes information about Bighorn Sheep populations and translocation efforts that have taken place in other parts of Arizona to give some perspective/comparison to the project in the Santa Catalina Mountains – interesting reading! Also included in this update is another mention of the upcoming research/vegetation sampling and a call for volunteers:

If you’d like to get involved (and enjoy some pretty spectacular hiking along the way), please contact either Research Biologist Andrew Jones (ajones@azgfd.gov) or Larisa Harding (lharding@azgfd.gov) and let us know as we begin to organize this effort. Sampling will most likely occur from early January through the end of February 2015. Come join in the fun and contribute to the research efforts!

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