Bighorn, Crossing, Decapitation, Comet, Snow, App, Rescues – 11/15/2015

There are plans to release 30 bighorn sheep from near Yuma into the Santa Catalina Mountains during the third week of November. Pneumonia – identified as the cause in a number of recent deaths – is still a concern but the bighorn planned for the release “have been previously exposed to the illness and are therefore resistant to it.” More Bighorn Sheep Coming to Santa Catalinas Near Tucson – Arizona Public Media, More bighorns coming to Catalina Mountains next month – Arizona Daily Star.

Wildlife crossings pave the way for biodiversity in Sonoran Desert – Arizona Sonora News: There is an exciting project that is part of the widening of Oracle Road – two wildlife crossings that will help link the Tortolita and Santa Catalina Mountains! The Arizona Department of Transportation has a single sheet overview of the project that is quite informative. While the project is not finished it appears that a tortoise is the first documented user of the new crossing!

Decapitated deer found tied to tree on Mount Lemmon – Near Molino Basin a deer that had been shot and decapitated was found tied to a tree on Nov. 6 – there is a $2,000 reward for information (contact Operation Game Thief – 1-800-352-0700). A quote from the article: “This case is very troubling, given the nature of the crime scene. We are outraged by this, and expect that the general public will be as well” – Regional Supervisor Raul Vega of Game and Fish in Tucson.

Mt. Lemmon biz looking forward to El Nino winter – “General Manager [of the Sawmill Run Restaurant] Steven Sanders said the more snow, the more people come up and the more jobs there will be to go around.”

First snowfall of season on Mt. Lemmon brings out plenty of sightseers – Tucson News Now: First snow of the Season!

Catalina State Park: Blue skies, flowing water – Arizona Daily Star, Sabino Canyon gearing up for busy season – Tucson News Now: Two articles that are a great reminder that we are starting to have days with amazing weather for getting outside to the desert/lower elevation areas of the mountain!

Long Term Permit for Sabino Canyon Shuttle Services – USFS: This page contains information about the proposed 20-year special use permit for the shuttle system in Sabino Canyon. The SCRA Shuttle Scoping Letter has some interesting notes about the project including a list of design features that mentions minimizing conflicts between the shuttle/hikers/bikers and reducing ‘auditory impacts’ from the shuttle that seem to depend on ‘modernizing [the] existing 1970s era shuttle fleet’.

Space junk crashing toward Earth found by Mount Lemmon lab – Arizona Daily Star: Space debris – possibly an old rocket booster – that entered Earth’s atmosphere and splashed down in the Indian Ocean was first spotted by the Catalina Sky Survey!

Comet named after Catalina Mountains may soon be seen with naked eye – Tucson News Now: Comet Catalina will soon be at its closest to the sun and may be visible with the naked eye. The comet was discovered in 2013 by the Catalina Sky Survey. This post from has information on locating the comet in the sky.

Closure of shooting sites on Redington Pass extended – Arizona Daily Star: Three unofficial shooting areas off Redington Road that were closed for clean up will remain closed until next year while the Forest Service works on a management plan for the Redington Pass area.

Motorcyclist airlifted after Mt. Lemmon crash – Tucson News Now: non life-threatening injuries sustained in a crash near milepost 17.

UA College of Science Produces Mount Lemmon Audio Tour – UANews: The University of Arizona College of Science has produced a mobile app for Android and iPhone called ‘The Mount Lemmon Science Tour’. The app is largely a guided audio tour with great accessible science content (how the mountain formed, life zones, water, …) that is timed for a drive up the mountain.

Rescues/Accidents/Incidents including information from the SARCI Newsletter:

  • Crystal Spring Trail – 10/25: Exhaustion results in a hiker carried out to the Control Road
  • Blackett’s Ridge – 10/7: Ankle injury, hiker carried out.
  • Seven Cataracts – 10/2: Hiker injured in a fall on the unofficial trail/route from the Seven Cataracts Overlook to the pools in Seven Cataracts – hoisted out and transferred to a medical helicopter.
  • Sutherland Trail – 9/23: Lost hiker calls for help after being unable to follow the trail – the current trail conditions plus attractiveness of this route continue to cause incidents.

News – Redington Fire, Accident…

Redington Pass fire at 80 percent, road reopened – there have been several articles about this fire on the edge of the Santa Catalina Mountains – human caused (I have not seen details on how) – seems to contained. (An earlier article: Fire east of Tucson 50 percent contained) – May 5 Coronado National Forest Update on the Fire (80% contained)

Car accident on Mt. Lemmon closes road – reported at mile post 15 on May 3.

SaddleBrooke art show to benefit Catalina State Park program – The show will benefit the Friends of Catalina State Park Adopt-a-Saguaro program – location/time in the linked article.

A picture from the Southern Arizona Rescue Association: DPS Ranger 54 crew, PCSD SAR and SARA after the successful rescue of a hiker with a leg injury near Maiden Pools in Ventana Canyon

Two Injured in Auto Crash

Two people injured in crash on Catalina HighwayJeep tumbles 100 feet off Mt. Lemmon Highway2 injured when SUV tumbles 100 feet off Mount Lemmon highwayPhotos: Rescue on Mount Lemmon: A couple go off the highway and down a hillside, no word on the cause of the crash – the couple is in critical condition.

Motorcycle Accident, Hiker Rescue, Cacti Chopped

Mt. Lemmon Hwy reopens, motorcyclist transported to hospitalTeen hurt in motorcycle crash on Mount LemmonMotorcycle Collision on Mount Lemmon – Motoecycle accident in the Windy Point area.

Hikers rescued from Mt. Lemmon – Two lost hikers rescued from the Window Peak area.

Half dozen cacti chopped at Pima Canyon Trail, search is on for vandals – A very sad story of vandalism on the Pima Canyon Trailhead, unfortunately not completely unexpected since there has been vandalism reported before at this location…