National Public Lands Day VOLUNTEER Invitation


Tumacacori NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK invites you to these two Family-Friendly Volunteer Events on

Saturday, September 25, 2021:

Goathead Attack Squad.

Time: 9am-11:00am

Bring closed-toe shoes, proper sun protection (long-sleeved shirt, sun hat, sunscreen, etc.), gloves, at least 2 liters of water for each person in your group.


Time: 1:pm-3:00pm

Weed Walk on the Anza Trail

Bring closed-toe shoes, proper sun protection (long-sleeved shirt, sun hat, sunscreen, etc.), gloves, at least 2 liters of water for each person in your group.

Contact

Tony Palmer

Tumacácori National Historical Park

Biological Science Technician

Joseph_Palmer@nps.gov

520-377-5096



Wild Flowers 2021


Retired FOSCR Board Member Marty Jakle shares his wildflower expertise on this season’s wildflowers.

Marty Jakle, Member
Marty Jakle, Retired FOSCR Board Member

Wow.  This is the best monsoon season I’ve seen since I’ve lived in the area (15 years) and is one for the record books with 14 inches and counting.   Besides turning the area a vivid green, it has given rise to a bumper crop of wildflowers.

The most obvious wildflower is the Arizona Caltrop or monsoon poppy, (Kallstroemia grandiflora) which is not to be confused with the desert gold poppy; abundant here in the spring depending on rainfall. It is carpeting the land in a blanket of yellow flowers.   The monsoon poppy is always found during the monsoon season, especially along roadsides, but this year a banner year for the species.  The best year I’ve seen.


Another species which is having a similar season is the pink bottle brush, (Mimosa dysocarpa) whose flowers look like whitish/pinkish woolly worms at the ends of the shrub.  I commonly see it growing along the roadsides.


A species that I see more often this monsoon is the mala mujer, (Cnidoscolus stimulosus) a bizarre looking plant with small, white flowers and growing about 1 ft. tall.  It has spines all over it—on the stem, seed pods and even on the underside of its leaves.  The upper surface of the leaf has white spots making where the spines grow on the leaf’s underside.


The ubiquitous morning glory (Convolvulaceae sp.) is also having bumper year.  Like its name implies it blooms in the morning, shriveling up by noon.  It’s taking over my place—its fences, trees and anything it can climb on.  It reminds me a bit of the infamous kudzu vine that I would see on family vacations to Florida.  I’ve seen its funnel-shaped flowers colored the normal purple, but also white, pink, and lavender.


It’s cousin, the field bindweed, (Convolvulus arvensis) blooms later in the day and has the same colored & shaped flowers.


Here’s a tip for putting a name to many of the plants and animals you see.  A handy Free app for identifying them is “Seek”.  Download the app and using your phone camera, you scan what you want to I.D. and the name (hopefully) will appear on the screen.  It works by using artificial intelligence and compares your specimen with its vast memory bank.


Notice of Appeal and Request for Hearing

Before the Water Quality Appeals Board Department of Administration in and for the State of Arizona the Appellants (Listed below) filed a

Notice of Appeal and Request for Hearing

on the

Proposed Significant Amendment to Arizona Minerals Inc. Aquifer Protection Permit Inventory

Respondent:

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)

Appellants

  • Patagonia Area Resource Alliance
  • Defenders of Wildlife
  • Arizona Mining Reform Coalition
  • Borderlands Restoration Network
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • Earthworks
  • Friends of the Santa Cruz River
  • Friends of Sonoita Creek
  • Save the Scenic Santa Ritas
  • Sky Island Alliance
  • Tucson Audubon Society

Summary and Conclusions

  1. All downstream aquifers, including those in Harshaw and Sonoita creek valleys, must be protected by a system of early-warning POCs (Point of Compliance) upgradient of the first drinking water well monitored on a Daily basis.
  2. POC-4 must be constructed, and baseline data collected for at least one full year prior to any large discharge from WTP2 to capture the range of natural variation in the system. This POC is important for tracking any changes in water quality that might result from the addition of 4500 gpm into Harshaw Creek, regardless of the compliance status of that discharge.
  3. Two additional POC monitoring wells should be installed between Outfall2 and the first shallow drinking water well in Harshaw Creek.
  4. EPA Secondary standards are critical for protecting the existing uses of Harshaw and Sonoita Creek aquifers. These aquifers are presently used without treatment except disinfection. Any additional load of sulfate, for example, may require local residents who depend on these sole-source aquifers to implement expensive treatment or seek a replacement (eg. bottled water) supply.
  5. AMI has not conducted a thorough and complete hydrologic study to assess the predicted impacts of pollutant releases on downstream drinking water aquifers. Am integrated hydrologic/hydraulic flow and fate/transport model should be used to assess the short-(hours to days) and long-term (months) nature and extent of pollutant release(s) at the Hermosa Property, as the surface and subsurface hydrologic system along Harshaw and Sonoita Creeks are strongly coupled. A much more rigorous hydrolooogic evaluation is needed, and a protection plan commensurate with those results must be developed.
  6. Compliance monitoring requirements should be consistent with AWQS and federal SDWA standards where they are stricter. Radionuclide monitoring should be required at all POCs, including Outfalls 1 and 2.

2021 – Annual Meeting Report

Blue Evening Star, Member

Annual Meeting Report

By Blue Evening Star

FOSCR held its 2021 Annual Meeting on Saturday April 17th. The meeting was conducted on Zoom from 1 – 2:30 pm.

As this was our first time having an event online, we learned a lot about how it’s done. While an online meeting will never replace a meeting face-to-face with our friends — and especially in the great outdoors — we were happy with the results.

This meeting was officiated by Scott Vandervoet. He is a past-president of FOSCR who participated in FOSCR river clean-ups when he was a boy growing up in Santa Cruz County. (We have pics of him in our archives). 

One of the main purposes of the annual meeting is for general membership to vote to confirm the slate of board members for the upcoming year. This was accomplished! We are happy to report that the seven existing board members plus four fantastic new members were approved. 

  • Ben Lomeli
  • Scott Vandervoet
  • Larry Taylor
  • Lah-May Bremer
  • Reid Penland
  • Blue Evening Star 
  • Sheila Slaughter
  • Laurinda Oswald
  • Rich Kiker
  • Nohe Garcia
  • Riky Arboisiere

Go to “Meet the Board “on FOSCR website to see our biographies. 

As Scott shared during the meeting, our by-laws allow the addition of new board members (voted on by existing board) any time of the year. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a board member of FOSCR. Since we currently have 11 on the board there is room for 2 more. General membership is always welcome and needed as well. You can easily find how to join on our website (under “GET INVOLVED”). 

Our current President (Ben Lomeli) opened up the meeting with a brief and informative talk on what’s happening at FOSCR. He spoke about retirements and departures that occurred in 2020. This included Sherry Sass who was the catalyst and backbone of FOSCR since its inception in 1991. Adjusting to changes (arising from COVID-19 and the retirement of a few board members) caused a time of transition and change for FOSCR.

This was ably tackled by a Revitalization Committee that met via phone conference and Zoom during the latter part of 2020. Out of that came many plans to continue ongoing projects and create new ones. Ongoing activities include:

  • Reviewing Mission Statement and By-Laws and looking at creating a new Vision Statement
  • Recruiting new board members from a selected list
  • Creating an Orientation Packet for new members
    • Describing FOSCR’s Functions and Supporting Programs
    • Definitions and Acronyms used at FOSCR
    • Ground Rules for communications
    • Project Check Sheet
  • Strategic Planning
  • Re-publishing The Rambler’s Guide with hiking trails added and a Spanish translation
  • Website and social networking upgrades
  • Adopt-A-River Program
  • RiverWatch Program (gathering monthly scientific data)
    • Quality control upgrade & Manual
  • Monitoring legislation, Cross-border effluent flows, mines, illegal dumping, Ruby Rd bridge work, media interviews
  • Grants
  • Building GIS capabilities
  • Building and Nurturing Partnerships
  • Finding a way to safely host River Clean-Ups

Ben concluded by emphasizing the importance of not allowing our differences (as a nation) divide us. Let us seek common ground to build productive partnerships. 

Next the “floor” was given to our main speaker, Diane E. Austin — Professor and Director, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona. She spoke about Problems and Possibilities for Arizona Borderland Waterways. Her presentation included an in-depth power point to illustrate many of the points she shared with us. As always, Professor Austin shared fascinating history, context for current problems and possibilities, and ideas for solutions. 

Many participants asked questions which quickly became a brainstorm about ways to rebuild essential cross-border relationships that had been largely severed over the past few years. 

We want to heartily thank Professor Austin and everyone else who supported FOSCR (and the riparian life-force of our home region) by attending this meeting. 

Attendees included:

  • Bob Love – Superintendent
  • Dona Jenkins
    • Volunteer in California working diligently to upgrade FOSCR website via Catch-a-Fire grant
  • Cynthia Shoemaker
    • Long-time FOSCR board member (retired) 
  • John Szafranski  
    • Former Treasurere of FOSCR
  • Karin Stanley
  • Kate Penland – Board President
  • Sharie Shute
  • Jennifer Martin
  • Beth Taylor

We will continue to make our best efforts to “ensure a continued flow of the river’s surface waters, promote the highest river water quality achievable, and to protect and restore the riparian ecosystem and diversity of life supported by the river’s waters”. 

Outreach Efforts on Manhole #86

Outreach Efforts on Manhole #86

By Blue Evening Star

FOSCR has been endeavoring to inform people that Manhole #86 is likely to be the next one to fail in monsoon flooding. To do this, we have been taking out ads in the Nogales International with catchy phrases that will alert people to the dangers we face with every monsoon flood. Board member Ben Lomeli has been interviewed several times about the IOI. See links below to stories on NPR and KOLD News.

We observe the IBWC and ADEQ trying to get a quick fix solution pushed through (and leave all further costs and liabilities to a proposed new “Water Management District”) so we are fighting that too. The real federal agenda is to get the question of who will pay (for the IOI repairs and maintenance) out of the courts, because they know they will lose there. We are in the process of releasing a press release, and also a longer letter addressing this.

NPR:
Residents Warn of Threat to Santa Cruz River if Sewer Pipe Ruptures Again
Last year, rains caused a breach in a pipeline that carries raw sewage from Mexico to the U.S. Residents in Santa Cruz county are warning that the same pipeline carrying raw sewage from Mexico into the United States could rupture again, as it did last year during the monsoon.

Arizona Must Act Fast to Replace Cross-Border Pipeline, Official Says
The 8-mile IOI, which spewed raw sewage into the Nogales wash last year, is 25 years past its expected lifespan.

KOLD:
Who’s going to pay for international sewage line through Nogales?
Just about everyone with a connection to the Nogales Wash and the International Outfall Interceptor would like to see some improvements to prevent potential breaches and breaks, but the various organizations and individuals involved can’t seem to agree on who is go to pay for the fix.

ARIZONA PUBLIC MEDIA:
Arizona 360
Nancy Montoya reports on a crucial sewage pipeline that runs from Nogales, Sonora to a water treatment facility in Rio Rico.

Trash bags from Santa Cruz River cleanup

Awesome Community Support of River Cleanup Efforts

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” background_size=”initial”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text background_layout=”light” use_border_color=”off” _builder_version=”3.0.90″ border_color_all=”#ffffff”]
Trash bags from Santa Cruz River cleanup
Volunteers work hard to collect 400 bags of trash
A massive riverside cleanup on Saturday, January 27, overflowed with community spirit—much like the river had flooded part of Carmen with trash. Friends of the Santa Cruz River (FOSCR), along with numerous partners, organized the event. Among other complications, this task required creating footbridges to access two football-field-sized “bottle dams.” This phrase describes the plastic trash from all over our binational watershed that gets flushed down and sieved out of summer flood flows, along with lots of downed wood that accumulates in our beautiful riparian forests.

Check out this great time-lapse video of the volunteers at work!

We had to plan carefully to make this event, in semi-wild and rough terrain, possible and safe. Volunteers took up advertising for help, contacting likely participants, gathering snacks and water, and arranging all the logistics and some details you don’t think about until 2 o’clock in the morning. The Anza Trail Coalition (ATC) brought help to park the 136+ volunteers who showed up from everywhere to pitch in. Five landowners gave permission for us all to tromp across their properties. The ATC and several local ranchers brought ATVs and a backhoe to help shuttle supplies out to the pickers and filled bags and tires back. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality not only provided bags and other supplies, but also covered our insurance for the day, and three staffers from Tucson spent the morning hauling trash out with the rest of us. Santa Cruz County sent landscape trailers along with their Emergency Services Director to help everyone stay organized and safe, and waived tipping fees at the landfill. The Tubac Fire Department was also represented in our Safety Officer; these two public servants made the cleanup remarkably smooth and blessedly free from accident. Both Rio Rico’s Interact Club and Nogales High School’s Green Club came out in force and attacked the trash piles like demons, along with many other students and their families. Hiking groups, birding groups, and neighbors picked, dragged and carried all morning long, leaving tired but gratified with the difference they had made.

The payoff was awesome!

We collectively removed over 200 tires and 2 tons of trash—mostly very light plastic. Our initial estimate is that about 400 contractor trash bags full were removed from the river environment and taken to the landfill. This trash will no longer pollute the river’s environment and will not be spread further north to sully other locations. As most folks were heading home, a few of us saw a large bird soaring overhead; we thought we saw a white head. A bald eagle was a fitting symbol for the day: the best of our United States, our community pulling together for the common good.  

Many thanks from to all our volunteers and supporting organizations for making the day a huge success! The river is visibly cleaner and healthier because of your efforts. YOU ALL ROCK!!

FOSCR

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_comments _builder_version=”3.0.90″ show_avatar=”on” show_reply=”on” show_count=”on” background_layout=”light” header_font_size_tablet=”51″ header_line_height_tablet=”2″ custom_button=”off” button_icon_placement=”right” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
Trash along the Santa Cruz River

Community Clean-Up January 27th

Trash along the Santa Cruz River

Community Clean-up of a Big River-borne Trash Pile
Sponsored by Friends of the Santa Cruz River

WHEN: Saturday, January 27, 9 AM to 12:30 PM

WHERE: Behind the Tumacacori Mesquite Sawmill in Carmen, between Tubac and Tumacacori, #2007 East Frontage Road

DETAILS: wear long pants, sturdy shoes, gloves, hat. Bring a reusable water bottle please!Warning: uneven terrain and other possible hazards! Not suitable for small children. We will supply refill water, trash bags, gloves, “grabbers” and other equipment, snacks, safety training and coordination.

PARTNERS: Anza Trail Coalition, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Santa Cruz County, Tumacacori Mesquite Sawmill, and many caring individuals.

PARKING: You will be directed at the Mesquite Sawmill gates

CONTACT: Email us at foscriver @ gmail.com if you plan to help out; please provide cell phone number too if you have one OR you can RSVP at our Facebook event page.

IBWC Southeast Arizona Citizens Forum September 21 at 5pm

International Boundary and Water Commission
United States Section

For immediate release
September 7, 2017

Aid for Rural Drinking Water Systems and Sanitation Concerns to be Discussed in September 21 Public Meeting in Tubac

The United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) has scheduled a public meeting of the Southeast Arizona Citizens Forum for Thursday, September 21 at 5:00 p.m. at the Tubac Community Center, 50 Bridge Road, Tubac, AZ. Agenda items will cover state legislation to help small rural drinking water systems and a timeline of events leading to the partial breach of a manhole in a Nogales, Arizona sewer pipeline. The purpose of the forum is to promote the exchange of information between the USIBWC and the community regarding Commission projects and related activities in Pima, Cochise, and Santa Cruz Counties.

Amanda Stone, Chief Policy and Legislative Affairs Officer, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), is presenting on the significant bill amendment to House Bill 2094 – Small Water Systems Fund. Ms. Stone will share ADEQ’s new statutory authority to help small rural drinking water systems return to compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act requirements by providing another source of grant funding to implement system repairs and upgrades. There are approximately 50 small drinking water systems (serving 10,000 or fewer people) delivering water that contains contaminants at levels exceeding safe drinking water standards today in Arizona.

In other business, Sherry Sass, President, Friends of the Santa Cruz River (FOSCR), will present a video, Flirting with Disaster. The video is an encapsulated warning message distributed earlier this year regarding a sewer pipe, known as the International Outfall Interceptor (IOI), located in the Nogales Wash. The FOSCR is campaigning for a permanent fix to the IOI so the waters of the Wash do not become contaminated in the future.

Mr. Wayne Belzer, Environmental Engineer, USIBWC, will provide information on the partial breach of the IOI’s manhole 89 in the Nogales Wash. On July 25, 2017, the manhole became dislodged after heavy rainfall, resulting in a partial breach of the IOI and release of sewage into the Wash. A temporary bypass system has been installed to contain the sewage leak until a permanent repair is put in place. The bypass system, proposed solutions, and status of repairs will be discussed during the presentation.

In addition, Mr. Belzer will talk about future plans to repair the entire IOI. His presentation will include the history of the IOI, the planned use of Cast in Place Pipe (CIPP) technology, the status of the design that’s underway for the rehabilitation of the IOI, and projected completion of the design.

A complete agenda follows. Members of the public who would like more information about the meeting may call 520-281-1832 or email lori.kuczmanski@ibwc.gov.
News Media Contact:

Lori Kuczmanski
915-832-4106
lori.kuczmanski@ibwc.gov

Southeast Arizona Citizens Forum

Thursday, September 21, 2017
5:00 – 7:00 P.M.

Tubac Community Center
50 Bridge Road*
Tubac, AZ 85646

Agenda
  • Welcome and Introductions – John Light, Area Operations Manager, USIBWC, and Citizens Forum Co-Chair
  • Small Water Systems Fund – Expansion of Authorized Uses (HB2094) –Amanda Stone, Chief Policy and Legislative Affairs Officer, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
  • Flirting with Disaster, video presentation – Sherry Sass, President, Friends of the Santa Cruz River
  • Update on Plans to Repair the International Outfall Interceptor (IOI) Sewer Pipeline and Manhole in Nogales, Arizona – Wayne Belzer, Environmental Engineer, USIBWC
  • Public Comment
  • Board Discussion
  • Suggested Future Agenda Items
Directions:

From Tucson, take I-19 South, take exit #40 toward Chavez Siding Road, turn left onto Chavez Siding Road, turn right onto I-19 Frontage Road, turn left onto Bridge Road, turn left at Crosby Road, destination is on the right.
If you have a disability that you wish to self-identify confidentially that requires accommodation, please advise us ahead of time.

For more information, call 520-281-1832 or email lori.kuczmanski@ibwc.gov

Lori Kuczmanski
Public Affairs Officer
International Boundary and Water Commission
Office: 915-832-4106
Cell: 915-494-6027
Fax: 915-209-8927
lori.kuczmanski@ibwc.gov

STATEMENT OF CONFIDENTIALITY
The information contained in this electronic message and any attachment(s) to this message are intended for the exclusive use of the addressee(s) and may contain confidential or privileged information. You are hereby notified that any unauthorized use, disclosure, and/or distribution of the information is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, you are prohibited from sharing, copying, or otherwise using or disclosing its contents. If you receive this e-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail and permanently destroy along with any attachments without reading, forwarding, saving, or disclosing them.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

FOSCR Statement on the Recent Rupture of the IOI

Friends of the Santa Cruz River logo

Friends of the Santa Cruz River has been concerned for some time that the binational sewage pipe, the International Outfall Interceptor (IOI), could be breached by floods in the Nogales Wash under which it lies. A pipe break would spill raw sewage into the communities of Nogales, Rio Rico, Tubac and further north along the Santa Cruz River. Our warning is encapsulated in a short video we had made and started distributing earlier this year, called “Flirting With Disaster“.

We are sad to say this eventuality has now come to pass. The waters of the Wash and the Santa Cruz River into which it flows are now heavily contaminated. An easy fix is not in sight; and even when repairs to this breach are eventually made, there is a good likelihood that a similar disaster will happen again somewhere else along the 9-mile IOI, possibly even this summer.

Although the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) has developed a plan to insert a resin sleeve into the existing IOI, and FOSCR supports this repair strategy, it will not solve the persistent problem of the location of the IOI.

This binational sewage pipe must be removed from the bed of the Wash if future public health disasters like this one are to be avoided in the future. IOI relocation will not come cheap or easy. However, barring a major overhaul of the entire Nogales Wash watershed (most of which is in Mexico), repeated erosive floods will inevitably threaten the IOI with rupture and thus threaten the health of all Santa Cruz County residents as well as the ecological health of the Santa Cruz River ecosystem. Furthermore, since most of Santa Cruz County’s residents depend for their drinking water on the aquifer that underlies the river, our drinking water supply also faces a long-term and significant threat from repeated discharges of contaminated water into the river.

This is a matter of true national security; if we don’t have clean drinking water and are not protected from public health threats, how secure are we? The IBWC must take responsibility for this border crisis and first, repair the IOI. But second and more importantly, they must get the IOI out of the Nogales Wash.