Monday, January 11, 2016

Winter In The Arizona Mountains

Last week winter arrived in the Arizona Mountains. In the valleys the 5-day storm dumped mostly rain--pouring rain filled the washes and added much needed moisture. Water of course is the lifeblood everywhere in the West...But is particularly precious in the desert where the (hoped for) average annual precipitation hovers somewhere between 10 and 15-inches.
Staghorn Cholla fruit peeks out from under a rare snowy blanket.

I posted this recently on Facebook--ChuckRobbins-Outdoors--An attempted artsy
 fartsy rendition of a vast grasslands once part of the sprawling Empire Ranch
 (now part of the LasCienegas National Conservation Area) and the
 snow-splashed Whetstone Mountains.
Once facing an uncertain future that almost certainly included housing and commercial development, today more than 45,000 acres of rolling grasslands and woodlands in Arizona’s Pima and Santa Cruz counties are protected as a National Conservation Area.  The region’s rolling grasslands, oak-studded hills that connect several “sky island” mountain ranges, and lush riparian corridors are irresistible to both people and wildlife. Cienega Creek, with its perennial flow and lush riparian corridor, forms the lifeblood of the NCA and supports a diverse plant and animal community.  

Thanks to the efforts of local governments, elected officials and the public, the Empire and Cienega ranches, along with portions of the adjacent Rose Tree and Vera Earl ranches, are now under public ownership and managed by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) under the principles of multiple-use and ecosystem management for future generations to use and enjoy.  The BLM has formed a partnership with the nonprofit Empire Ranch Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving the historic buildings and surrounding landscapes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

DU Removes All Trace of Don Thomas...

Ignoring the black eye DU has given itself over the heinous firing of Don Thomas for bruising the fragile ego of billionaire supporter James Kennedy--poor precious pup. Now they go and completely remove all trace of Don Thomas, as if he never existed, despite that he was a valued, regular and popular contributor to DU Magazine since the late 1990s. Yep, try and find even one of his many articles in their archives and...Well, there are none...Really. As one scribe put it, un-personed in the best Orwellian fashion.

Since firing Don, instead of the story being confined to the relatively few Bozeangelites who pick up the free rag, Outside Bozeman, the story has gone viral...all over the internet and picked up by several national news agencies including AP and CNN...

Sort a leaves ya speechless, their stupidity, eh?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

RE: DU's Firing of Don Thomas

Sad, True but No Surprise, here is DU's response to those who have dared expressed outrage...

E. Donnall Thomas was a freelance contributor to Ducks Unlimited magazine. He was not a DU employee. He wrote the “Closing Time” column, which appeared on the back page of every issue. Mr. Thomas had been writing this column for DU since 2001.

In the Fall 2015 issue of Outside Bozeman, Mr. Thomas wrote an article entitled: “A Rift Runs Through It; Fighting For Access to the Ruby River.” The article dealt with ongoing legal challenges related to public access on a portion of Montana’s Ruby River that runs through a longstanding DU volunteer leader’s property in Montana. DU recognizes there are many views on this issue, but our mission is waterfowl and wetlands conservation. As a result, DU has no position on the stream access issue in Montana. 

In DU’s opinion, the article published by Mr. Thomas in Outside Bozeman publicly and very personally attacked a DU volunteer leader. We felt that the article demonstrated a lack of fairness in vilifying a member of the DU family without allowing that person the opportunity to provide his perspective.

As a result, DU decided to discontinue its relationship with Mr. Thomas. We would be similarly concerned if Mr. Thomas had written comparable statements about any DU volunteer leader. DU honors freedom of speech, but also honors our volunteers. 

Mr. Thomas has the right to express his opinions in any way he sees fit. DU has the right to choose who contributes to its publications

 Matt Coffey, Senior Communications Specialist, Ducks Unlimited , (901) 758-3764 , (843) 263-7445, mcoffey@ducks.org