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John Stewart

Invasive mussels found in Arizona lake

Discovery of adult quagga mussel at Canyon Lake could impact recreational and municipal water users

PHOENIX -- In mid-December of 2015, personnel from the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program positively identified an adult quagga mussel attached to the hull of a boat recently removed from Canyon Lake, a major recreational lake on the Tonto National Forest.

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John Stewart

Important information regarding road closures in southeastern Arizona

(1) Closure of Long Hollow Road access point in GMU 32 -- Klondyke area

Due to a change in private land ownership in the area, there is no longer public access to State Trust lands or Forest Service lands through the Long Hollow Road access point (near Klondyke) in Game Management Unit 32.

(2) Temporary road and recreation site closures in Chiricahua Mountains (GMU 29) due to storm damage

Due to damage from recent storms, the Coronado National Forest has temporarily closed some roads and recreation sites for public safety reasons in the Chiricahua Mountains in Game Management Unit 29. Below is a news release that was issued on Sept. 26 by the Coronado National Forest:

TUCSON, AZ (September 26, 2014) -- Some roads and recreation sites located on the Douglas Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest are being temporarily closed due to damage related to recent storms in the area. The affected areas lie within the Chiricahua mountain range.

The following recreation sites are temporarily closed to human entry:

Idlewilde Campground
Stewart Campground
Sunny Flat Campground
John Hands Day Use Area
Herb Martyr Day Use Area
National Forest System Road 42 from Pinery Administrative Site to Paradise is open to vehicular traffic. Motorists are advised to use caution and observe signs posted for safety purposes.

National Forest System Road 42 from the Cave Creek Visitor Center to the closure gate located approximately ½ mile northwest of the Southwestern Research Station, is closed to vehicular traffic, open to pedestrians and bicyclists.

The following are temporarily closed:

National Forest System Roads 42A (Herb Martyr Road) and 42E (South Fork Road).
National Forest System Roads 314 and 685.
National Forest System Roads 74E, 628, 4243, 4244, 4245, 4246, 4248, and 7181.
Some areas will be gated, others posted with signs. Copies of the Special Closure Orders and maps will be posted at closed areas, available at the Douglas Ranger District Office, and posted on the Coronado National Forest website.

The areas are closed to allow for public safety in the Chiricahua Mountains after recent flood events caused significant road damage and erosion concerns. Closures will remain in effect until September 22, 2015, or until rescinded, whichever event occurs first.

Reports indicate that saturated soils and runoff debris are present in many areas of the Chiricahua Mountains. Motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists are urged to use extreme caution while in the area, and are advised that even small amounts of precipitation may result in flash flooding.

Alternative recreation sites on the Douglas Ranger District are currently open.

Rustler Park Campground can be reached by National Forest System Road (NFSR) 42. At 8,500 feet in elevation, 22 campsites can accommodate tents or trailers up to 22 feet in length.

On the west side of the Chiricahuas, Sycamore Campground can be reached on NFSR 41. The campground sits at 6,200 feet in elevation, with eight camp sites which can accommodate tents or trailers up to 16 feet in length.

Also on the west side of the Chiricahuas, Camp Rucker Group Site can be accessed by NFSR 74. At 5,600 feet in elevation, 11 campsites are available that can accommodate tents and trailers up to 16 feet in length.

In the Dragoon Mountains, Cochise Stronghold can be accessed by NFSR 84. At 5,000 feet, 12 camp sites can accommodate trailers up to 22 feet in length.

Drinking water and electricity are not available at the sites.

For further information, please contact the Douglas Ranger District Office at (520) 364-3468 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Read the Forest Service news release on the Coronado National Forest website.

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John Stewart

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project News

Monthly Status Report:  October 1-31, 2012

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in Arizona on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNF) and Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR) and in New Mexico on the Apache National Forest (ANF) and Gila National Forest (GNF).  Non-tribal lands involved in this Project are collectively known as the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area (BRWRA).  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.  Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by visiting http://www.azgfd.gov/signup.  This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Reintroduction Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

Original author: Arizona
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John Stewart

Northern Arizona Scoping Report Released

The purpose of scoping is to provide an opportunity for members of the public to learn about the proposed action and to provide comments on issues and concerns. A total of 83,525 submittals containing 8,600 distinct comments were received. Information gathered by the BLM through the scoping process will be used in developing the EIS. Comments will be used to help identify a range of alternatives, as well as to identify issues and concerns to be considered in the EIS.

On July 21, 2009, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a decision to segregate nearly 1 million acres of federal lands in the Arizona Strip for two years while the Department evaluates whether to withdraw these lands from new mining claims for an additional 20 years. The lands, managed by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service, are within portions of the Grand Canyon watershed and contain significant environmental and cultural resources as well as substantial uranium deposits.

The scoping report EIS can be viewed here (5.5M). A summary of the scoping comments are available in this newsletter.

The BLM manages more land - 253 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.


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John Stewart

Alll New Arizona Fishin' Holes Released

PHOENIX (Dec 21, 2009) – Hold the sleigh and reel-in your shopping list – the long-awaited and modernized “Arizona Fishin’ Holes” booklet from the knowledgeable folks at the Arizona Game and Fish Department is hot off the presses just in time for the holidays.

“I give my personal guarantee this is a must have for all Arizona anglers, or those who aspire to such a lofty outdoor pursuit,” said Rory Aikens, the department’s fishing report editor.

Although previous editions of this vaunted publication have been around for a few decades, this latest version is special, in a cyber sort of way.

“We have brought this wonderful fishing guide into the 21st century. We truly crafted it to be glove box, cell phone, laptop and GPS-unit friendly,” Aikens promised.

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