Water hauling by the Arizona Elk Society Water for Wildlife crew began in March this year. The reprieve we had hoped for during the May rainy season did not happen. The good monsoon season we had hoped for did not happen. What has happened in 2020 is the driest year in many, many years in Arizona. While parts of the state received a little monsoon weather and rain, the high country north and east of Flagstaff was missed completely by any moisture.
Fire season came early and with a vengeance–dirt water tanks dried up very early in the season and elk and other wildlife were depending on the manmade water catchments spread throughout the forest and grasslands of Arizona. Some of these drinkers are small and only hold 1000-1500 gallons–not near enough to support much wildlife, especially elk. The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD), over the years, has partnered with the US Forest Service to upgrade many of the smaller catchments with 10,000 – 20,000 gallon catchments in areas of high densities of elk and mule deer throughout the state. While these catchments hold more water than the old ones, they were no match for Arizona’s drought.
In 2005 the area just south of the Grand Canyon received a 6 tank–a large 20,000 gallon tank catchment on a pipeline. This was part of a project proposed by AZGFD and funded by monies from the auctioning of the Commissioners Elk Tags and donations from the AES and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The water was supplied from the effluent pond at the Tusayan Water Treatment Center which eventually dried up. No open hotels due to the COVID-19 dilemma meant that no one was taking showers and flushing the toilets in Tusayan. Hence the Water Treatment Center was not running at capacity and the effluent water dried up.
When all these things happened AZGFD, AES and a few others stepped up to haul water. AES has hauled over 3 million gallons of water since 2002. We haul water to the catchments that AZGFD Wildlife Managers direct us to with our few trucks and a mixture of trailers and tanks. This equipment along with Arizona’s most dedicated volunteers is the main reason that there was enough water in Northern Arizona for our Elk. The AES takes care of water hauling in Units 8, 7W, 7E, 9 and 5BN. We also help with water in the eastern part of the State in AZGFD Region 1. In addition to hauling the water the AES Catchment Repair Squad restores old Forest Service drinkers spread throughout the forest.
Hauling water is a big job and is all done by AES Volunteers at times with contractors to keep up with the demand. We are always in need of donated trucks and water trailers to keep the water flowing. We also need donations to help defray costs such as tires and repairs to the trailers and trucks. These roads are very rough and with 10,000 – 15,000 pounds of water being hauled over some of the roughest roads, attrition is high. Flat tires, broken springs, broken pumps, snapped axles and you name it. If it can break the rocky roads will make it happen.
Our biggest asset are the volunteers that haul water and rebuild old catchments. This is a thankless, lonely and rough task. Long hours filling tanks and driving hours to deliver
the water. There are not enough words and kudos that THANK all the volunteers. These guys and gals get up early and drive thousands of miles on some of the roughest roads to haul water. THANK YOU ALL FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO, WITHOUT YOU WE COULD NOT KEEP THIS WATER FLOWING.
PROTECTING OUR LANDSCAPES: Arizona Elk Society / BSA #365 - Have you seen all the Facebook posts of people trashing the forest while camping. Well, someone did something about it, as reported by our WM in our daily agency success stories - I just had to share it.
This summer has seen an unprecedented amount of recreation across northern Arizona. Camping activity across the Mogollon Rim has expanded into delicate high elevation meadows and wetlands causing damage to critical wildlife habitat that provide forage and cover year-round for a multitude of species. Arizona Elk Society, Boy Scout Troop 365, Mogollon Rim Ranger District, and Region 2 partnered together to act quickly and install log worm fencing to create a long-lasting vehicle barrier that would aid in meadow and riparian area restoration efforts. The fencing will prevent soil compaction from vehicle activity, slow stream bank erosion, and restore meadow function. The benefit that this habitat provides to wildlife is immense, and we’re excited to be able to better protect it.
–Edward Cini, Wildlife Manager
Jan 11, 2018
In May 2017, approximately 150 volunteers sponsored by the Arizona Elk Society (AES) descended on the Mogollon Rim District of the
Coconino National Forest to help restore the high elevation meadow at Long Valley Draw.
March 31, 2018
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a scandal laden political organization, waited until a slow news holiday weekend to announce their stunning failure to qualify an antiscience based wildlife management initiative for the upcoming 2018 ballot.
In an excuse laden message to their small group of supporters, Kitty Block, Acting President & CEO of HSUS said, “This difficult decision is the result of a perfect storm of local obstacles and emerging national issues…” What the acting CEO did not explain is how the HSUS is racked with forced departure of their senior leadership for flagrant, sexual harassment misconduct and the approaching decertification of the organization by the Better Business Bureau for their fundraising tactics.
The message sent by the acting CEO is also the first true acknowledgement that the Arizonans for Wildlife is just a front organization to avoid public discussion of the HSUS business model which annually spends less than 1% of their donations to assist local humane shelters. Yet HSUS masquerades as the local Humane Society chapter, routinely misleading donors into believing they assist displaced dogs and cats in our communities.