Snow, Passes Online, Helicopters

Mt. Lemmon Highway reopened – Tucson News Now, Rain in Tucson, travel restrictions on Mount Lemmon – Arizona Daily Star, Mt. Lemmon receives first snowfall of season – Rikki Mitchell, Rain in Tucson, snow in mountains likely Saturday – Arizona Daily Star: Several articles from the past week about storms with both rain and snow – with more in the forecast! Remember that on snowy days there is always a chance that the highway will close.

Purchase Coronado passes online Friday – Sierra Vista Herald: “Coronado National Forest day and annual passes will be available for purchase online beginning this week.” Check the Coronado National Forest Homepage for details. In the Santa Catalina Mountains travel on the highway, parking at vistas/observation points along the highway, parking at most trailheads (and hiking!) and parking in Summerhaven does NOT require a pass or fee – however developed areas such, as the picnic areas in Bear Canyon, do require a pass.

Plan to use helicopters in Arizona wilderness draws complaints – Brenna Goth – The Arizona Repulic: An article about the Arizona Game and Fish request filed earlier in the year for a Wilderness Act exception to allow helicopter use in an area including the Four Peaks, Hellsgate, Mazatzal, Salt River Canyon and Superstition Wilderness areas. Arizona Game and Fish has made a similar proposal in the Pusch Ridge wilderness that appears to still be under consideration. Project Page – Pusch Ridge Wilderness, Tonto National Forest – as I understand it the comment period for both of these proposals has already ended. While helicopter use would make capturing and studying Bighorn in these Wilderness Areas easier – and I suspect that these requests will be approved – I lament the disturbance of/intrusion on this small portion of our public lands and don’t think this proposal merits an exception to the Wilderness Act.

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