The Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, in cooperation with the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation and several other conservation partners, is appealing to Interior Secretary Gale Norton to help protect bighorn sheep and other wildlife in the Sonoran Desert National Monument in Arizona.
The animals are threatened by a pending lawsuit, filed by animal rights and environmental extremists, that prevents the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Arizona Game and Fish Department from maintaining and redeveloping existing wildlife water devices (called guzzlers) in the monument.
Animal rights and environmental activists were granted a stay by an Interior Board of Land Appeals administrative law judge to stop any work on the guzzlers.
The judge ruled that the maintenance effort would irreparably harm the aesthetic interests of the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs include the Arizona Zoological Society, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of Cabeza Prieta, Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter and the Wilderness Society.
The Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society and U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation has joined forces with the Yuma Valley Rod & Gun Club, the Arizona Deer Association and the Arizona Chapter of Safari Club International to urge Norton to assume jurisdiction over the pending case.
The coalition wants Norton to dissolve the stay that is adversely having an impact on the wildlife resources in the monument.
It has shown that the impact of the stay is contrary to the purpose of the monument and to the provisions of the BLM’s interim management policy for newly created national monuments.
The request sent to Norton stated, "We are seeking your assistance in reversing and dissolving the IBLA stay as quickly as possible.
"The subject water catchments will remain largely non-functional as a result of the stay and wildlife dependent upon these watering devices cannot wait for a lengthy resolution.
In fact, their very survival depends upon prompt resolution of this matter."
For more information about the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society and its work, call (480) 854-8950 or visit www.adbss.org.
For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit www.ussportsmen.org.
The spring 2004 hunting regulations are available at sporting goods stores and other license dealers. You can read the regulations and even apply online on the Game and Fish Web site, www.azgfd.com.
The spring application deadline is 7 p.m. Oct. 14.
Although the deadline is Oct. 14, the department recommends that hunters who are filling out applications by hand turn them in by Friday.
This early date allows the staff to check the application to ensure there are no errors and, if a problem is found, a staff member can contact the applicant and make the corrections.
Applying online has become increasingly popular. If you miss a required field of information or do something incorrectly, the computer won’t let you advance until the problem has been corrected.
Fishing Has No Boundaries, Arizona Chapter, will be holding its seventh annual fishing event for persons with disabilities.
Open to persons of any age with any disability, it is an exciting, volunteer-driven, fishing event for approximately 40 participants.
Wheelchair users can roll right onto pontoon boats and be guided by area bass pros.
Everything participants need to fish will be provided. They just have to get to the lake each day.
The event will be held Oct. 11-12 at the Maricopa County Lake Pleasant Regional Park from the park’s 10-lane boat ramp.
Registration starts at 7 a.m. The cost is $50 for the weekend and sponsorships are available.
The Arizona Flycasters will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m., Oct. 9 in the Sunnyslope Community Center, 802 E. Vogel St., Phoenix.
The speaker will be Kirk Young of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission with a presentation on the Apache Trout Recovery Program and its future.
For more information, call (480) 497-9008.