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Lesson Plans

Re:A&E.A What ecological issues are important in your community?

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kate/Ron Hirschi (gresham.10)
Sun, 7 Dec 1997 20:07:27 -0500

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Dear Bryce,

I am very sorry to hear your loss. I love javelinas, having spent some time
with them in Texas.....
When a similar event happened in my homeland, I started a project called
and identify places of natural habitat that had high significance, thinking
that others would respond in ways to protect and maybe even restore them.
It was a good idea in hindsight because over the years that basic project
spawned many more good ideas including the spending of money to buy some
places or to obtain easements for conservation.

There are now a lot of helpful publications to give you ideas we did not
have back then. SAVING AMERICA'S COUNTRYSIDE by Stokes is a good beginning
for you. It is a book that documents the various ways that communities have
saved pieces of landscape. I like the book because it helps you understand
how your area might work since our country is so different -- I mean, what
works in Massachusetts will not work in Tuscon..... You know what I mean.

Anyway, if you want more information about what we did up here, let me
know. I will try to answer questions but basically it really does take
someone like you with love of land and its unspoken for inhabitants to save
landscape. Nobody cares about javelinas in Washington DC.

Ron Hirschi

On 27 October, Bryce Downing wrote:

The question "What ecological issues are important in your community? "
is posed in the "Conversations About Teaching Contemporary Ecological Art"
section of the ArtsEdNet website.
I live in Tucson, Arizona. One ecological issue that is being discussed
in our community is the source of our drinking water. Currently, Tucson
receives its drinking water from underground wells. Over the past 20 years,
the water table level for the Tucson basin area has dropped significantly.
This has caused some concern. There are several people in our community who
wish for us to become part of the C.A.P. water system. This system involves
channeling water from the Colorado River. Phoenix, for example, has already
incorporated this system. Tucson citizens will put in their vote on the
issue Nov. 4th. The arguments and propaganda abound on our T.V.'s,
newspapers and mailboxes. There is no doubt that the issue of the water
source for Tucson is of great importance to the Tucson community.
Another issue that continually arises is about the expanding
neighborhoods in the Sabino Canyon area. Sabino Canyon has long been a
"desert-looking" area. Recently, though, massive amounts of apartment
building complexes have been built throughout the area, and more are on the
way. Many environmentalists have argued for a stop to this expansion, siting
destruction of the environment for the desert animals of the Tucson desert.
I know that houses are needed to absorb the expanding Tucson population. I
also live in the Sabino Canyon area. I can honestly tell you that over the
last 10 years there has been a decrease in the amount of wild animals I see.
10 years ago, javelinas and coyotes could be seen on a daily basis near my
home. I haven't seen a javelina around my home for about 5 years, coyotes
maybe once a month. Is this a reflection on the removal of an environment
for them to live? Personally, I'm torn on the issue. I know people need
places to live, but I sure miss feeding the javelina apples in the

Bryce Downing
The University of Arizona

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