Without action by Pima County, Rosemont Ranch would probably either be mined or become a residential subdivision over the next several decades. A ranch conservation scenario offers the best outcome for preventing fragmentation of the landscape and conserving the natural and cultural heritage of the area.
This is a non-time opportunity for Pima County to preserve the Bar V Ranch property that has countless benefits. From landscape connectivity for wildlife, to a significant water source for Cienega Creek and the Tucson Basin, to important riparian habitat crucial for the survival of several vulnerable species.
The Santa Rita Ranches operate in cooperation with the Santa Rita Experimental Range located to the west of the Santa Rita Mountains, in the upper Santa Cruz Valley. It was established in 1903 and is recognized as a principal site for research on the improvement and management of semiarid grasslands in the Southwest.
We need to look at what is management and how it has changed. What was once considered good practice in farming in some areas is no longer considered good practice because you are losing soil. The same thing is happening in ranching and as we look at the way range management has changed in the last 30 years, it is really dramatic in what the goals and objectives are of those people that are on the land is to stay on the land.
The author takes issue with the statement, "Only three percent of the cows are from the West" and discusses all that is involved in raising cows that are then shipped east to graze before slaughter. They forget that they were born and raised out here. The Altar Valley alone produces millions of pounds of beef a year.
To prevent unwanted urban sprawl and unregulated development, it is most important that Pima County encourage and retain viable ranches. Ranching is a significant land use that has served to protect our natural open space, and it continues to be an important traditional industry that has shaped the rural landscape.
Ranching was and is a distinct American culture with a distinct set of knowledge, values and beliefs. Many of those communities have been weakened by the relentless urbanization of Arizona, but now is the time to create new communities where environmentalists, hunters, birdwatchers and hikers partner with ranchers to preserve and restore the open spaces we all cherish.
To facilitate development of the Environmental Impact Statement which must accompany the Section 10 multi-species conservation proposal, a series of issue papers were prepared. In Pima County, ranching is uniquely able to preserve the integrity of vast tracts of connected and unfragmented open space and wildlife habitat. This study reviews the effect of five alternative permit strategies on the County's ability to preserve unfragmented landscapes through conserving ranch lands.
A companion to the Preliminary Ranch Conservation Element, this report brings together leaders in the area of ranch conservation and compiles their expert writings on ecological and economic sustainability in ranching.
Through the conservation of ranchland in eastern Pima County, the metropolitan urban boundary is better defined, vast landscapes of open space retain their integrity and the heritage and culture of the West is preserved.
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