On Sun, 7 Dec 1997, kate/Ron Hirschi wrote:
> Several of you have made the comment that the desert is a focus for your
> efforts. Not that it isn't vital, interesting, and important - but your
> areas have some of the most critically important wetland habitats that
> might just hook many kids.
> I hate to say this, but many kids find forests, prairies, and deserts
> extremely boring. Or, perhaps it is simply that many more kids find water
> and wet places so much more inviting.
> That is reflected in attraction to wet places by other species. For
> example, in your most arid places, many typically forest dwelling animals
> are only found in riparian habitat -- that narrow strip of cottonwood and
> willow threading along rivers, streams, small ponds. Even where there are
> forests, the narrow strip of wet loving trees shelters and nourishes more
> than twice the number of animals as nearby, drier woods.
> For all interested in conserving Tuscon water, riparian study/protection/
> attention might lead you to some interesting stuff. As the Colorado goes
> dry so goes the cottonwood. Or is it, as the cottonwoods go dry so goes the
> Colorado? I don't remember the amount of acres and river miles, but the
> devastation of Arizona riparian habitat ranks up there with devastation (by
> percent of original area) with the worst of rainforest destruction.
> Actually, this is true nationally since our ribbons of precious riparian
> woods have been hammered everywhere. Worse, in many places, they are now
> the target of harvest. And, it is the very few trees lining riverbanks that
> help the stream be a stream.
> In art, this is best shown by Giono in his account of a tree planter who,
> by planting thousands of trees, brings a stream back from the dead. In
> reality, dozens of Trout Unlimited Chapters, Fish and Wildlife Agencies,
> and concerned ranchers and other landowners have used this simple tool to
> bring water back to life.
> I urge you all to get wet
> Ron Hirschi