In the News

Climate change is making it harder to revive damaged land

June 29, 2018: High Country News

Carianne Campbell remembers the exact moment she fell in love with the Sonoran Desert. As a botany major in college, she joined a class field trip to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on the southern border of Arizona, arriving and setting up camp in the dark. Emerging from her tent the next morning, Campbell, who grew up on the East Coast, caught her first glimpse of enormous saguaros, clustered organ pipes and bright desert wildflowers. She knew immediately that she wanted to work in this kind of landscape.

Lion hunter trapped jaguar that was killed, Mexican rancher was told

June 28, 2018: Arizona Daily Star

A prominent northern Sonora rancher heavily involved in conservation work says he’s been told by sources that the dead jaguar whose pelt recently appeared online was trapped and killed by a mountain lion hunter.

Jaguar that roamed Huachuca Mountains shown dead in photo, officials say

June 22, 2018: Arizona Daily Star

A male jaguar that roamed the Huachuca Mountains in 2016 and 2017 is now believed to be dead.

Second local March for Science rally on Sunday at Reid Park

April 12, 2018: Arizona Daily Star

March for Science Southern Arizona is holding its second rally with the hopes of evolving into a larger organization that focuses year-round on science education, literacy and outreach.

Along the border, 500 miles of desert species

April 3, 2018: High Country News

One early March morning in southern Arizona’s Coronado National Memorial, an uneven line of scientists and amateur naturalists in floppy hats and hiking pants crept up a steep hillside through yellowed grasses and dark shrubs.

The desert, divided

March 19, 2018: High Country News

In early January, almost everyone in the country seemed to have the flu, including U.S. House Rep. Raúl Grijalva. “My grandkids made me sick!” he exclaimed over the phone from Washington, D.C., sounding congested. Grijalva, a Democrat, represents Arizona’s 3rd District, which comprises most of the state’s southern border, including Nogales, a town of one- and two-story buildings, nestled in a valley and named for the groves of walnuts that once thrived in the surrounding hills. It’s separated from Nogales, Sonora, by the international border. The binational city is known as Ambos Nogales, or “both Nogales.” When Grijalva asked me how the weather was in Nogales, I wondered if he was homesick.

Border BioBlitz documents Santa Ana wildlife in binational science effort

March 10, 2018: The Monitor

ALAMO — Looking to preserve the biodiversity of the Rio Grande Valley, volunteers from both sides of the border have been working to document as many species as possible. Last Saturday the group gathered at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge to participate in the Border BioBlitz, a one-day binational science effort to record as many species as possible along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.

Where to Embark on a Sky Island Adventure

February 23, 2018: Sunset Magazine

It’s the most romantic name in the world for a mountain: sky island. The two words conjure up a magical, lofty kingdom from Avatar or your favorite children’s book, and though they’re surrounded by land and not water, they possess all the island essentials. They are separate. They follow their own rules. And they are hard to get to.

Colaboración binacional entre parques hermanos

February 1, 2018: Especies

Un buen ejemplo de cómo los habitantes de ambos lados de la frontera entre México y Estados Unidos nos oponemos a la fría separación de las naciones, es jugar al “Wallyball,” un deporte muy similar al voleyball que usa el muro fronterizo en lugar de la red.

Groups plan longer Tucson campaign to beat back invasive buffel grass

January 23, 2018: Arizona Daily Star

Doug Siegel is among thousands of volunteers on a mission to “Save Our Saguaros,” one clump of buffelgrass at a time.

“The Sonoran Desert is one of the most diverse deserts in the world, and if we ignore buffelgrass and let it take over, we will see what we have disappear and be transformed into something completely different.

Passage Prevented

January 12, 2018: Arizona Center for Investigative Journalism

For more than a year, then-candidate Donald Trump promised voters at rallies, in tweets and on debate stages that America’s very safety and sovereignty had been compromised, and the only solution was to build a wall on the porous and unprotected U.S.-Mexico border.

Calling All Souls: Spiritual Activism on the Border

November 7, 2017: Huffington Post

Kids dressed as Jaguars run through the crowd growling and giggling. They remind us: What is wild belongs here.

Endangered species, and the wall that could silence them

September 20, 2017: USA Today

Under the starry skies over the jagged Sierra Madre foothills, Randy Young listens. He slings his hammock between two mesquites, deep in the 55,000 acres he manages for the Tucson-based Northern Jaguar Project.

Up Against the Wall

September 6, 2017: BioGraphic

On a quiet, late-spring morning in northern Sonora, Mexico, a beaver putters across a pond the size of a football field. A sinuous dam, 5 feet high, forms the pond’s southern edge. Frogs croak amid gnawed stumps, and the air is alive with birds and flying insects.

How Trump’s Border Wall Could Block the Most Exciting Wildlife Comeback in North America

August 22, 2017: Sierra Club National Magazine

Jaguars are reappearing in the Southwest. A border wall would put an end to that.

Tucson VA to Hold Veteran Resource Fair, Town Hall event

June 1, 2017: Tucson News Now

Southern Arizona VA Health Care System will be holding a Veteran Resource Fair and Town Hall event on Saturday, June 10.

Veterans and their families are encouraged to attend the event that will take place from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. at the R.E. Lindsey Jr. Auditorium at 3601 S. Sixth Avenue.

Environmentalists Face Uphill Battle with Proposed Border Wall

May 14, 2017: Cronkite News

As the bidding war for the construction of President Donald Trump’s wall comes to a close, many environmental activists remain concerned over the potential impact it will have on wildlife and ecology on the border.

The wall could affect a broad range of animal and plant species as well as water flow along border territory.

Trump’s Wall May Threaten Thousands of Plant and Animal Species on the U.S.-Mexico Border

May 10, 2017: Scientific American

The region—called the Sky Islands—harbors more than 7,000 species, many of which struggle to cross human-made obstructions

After nightfall last November 16 a sleek and rare wild cat sauntered past a remote camera in the Dos Cabezas Mountains east of Tucson, Ariz. The animal triggered a motion sensor and a camera flash popped. Frozen in stride halfway through the frame was a jaguar, its pointy black ears splotched with yellow. Federal wildlife officials later scrutinized the image their camera caught, comparing the animal’s markings with jaguars spotted elsewhere in Arizona in recent years. No match—this was a new migrant.

Sky Islands: Magical Mountains Arising from the Middle of Earth’s Deserts

May 2, 2017: Forbes

Sky Islands definitely do exist. What are they? Some people believe them to be the magical floating mountains in the movie Avatar. No… but I can tell you something about those floating mountains, first.

In letter to president, 450 organizations oppose any efforts to remove or decrease protections for any national monuments

May 1, 2017: The Wilderness Society

Dear President Trump, Secretary Zinke, and Secretary Ross,

On behalf of the 450 undersigned organizations and our millions of members across the country, we are writing to express our deep concern with your recent Executive Orders and our unified opposition to any efforts to remove or decrease protections for any national monuments.

More than 1,000 Nonprofits Set to Participate in Arizona Gives Day Next Week

March 31, 2017: PR Web

Arizona Gives Day is a grassroots, statewide day of giving that invites Arizonans to support their favorite causes. Donations can be scheduled in advance (to be processed on Tuesday, April 4) at or can be submitted day-of on April 4.

Hosted by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and Arizona Grantmakers Forum, and presented by FirstBank, Arizona Gives Day has raised more than $7.4 million for Arizona nonprofits since its founding in 2013.

Elusive Jaguar Glimpsed in AZ Could Be Game Changer

March 3, 2017: Public News Service

A new jaguar sighting in Arizona is raising lots of questions.

It’s the third big cat caught on camera prowling the state since 2012. The photo is little more than a glimpse, a partial image of a jaguar wandering the Dos Cabezas mountains, but it was enough for wildlife experts to know they’ve never seen this cat before.

Connecting the Sky Islands

March 1, 2017: Edible Baja Arizona

Although we live in one of the most arid places in the world, Tucson is located in the middle of a biological “sea.” There are 57 forested mountains with peaks at elevations between 3,000 and 10,000 feet that make up what’s known as the Madrean Sky Island region, or the Madrean Archipelago. Stretching from northern Mexico into southeastern Arizona and western New Mexico, these sky islands are characterized by their oak, pine, and aspen-laden apexes, though they are isolated from each other by wide expanses of desert and grassland—“seas” that operate as wildlife corridors between each unique mountain ecosystem.

A Tale of Two Walls

February 15, 2017: NACLA

Along a remote stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border, two visions for the climate-changed future are unfolding.

The U.S. Border Patrol agent was positioned behind a rust-colored vehicle barrier, on the other side of the international boundary line. He stopped when he saw me, bent down and taking a picture of grass. I was examining a tuft of sacaton, one of the several varieties of native grasses brought back to life by one of the largest ecological restoration projects on the U.S.-Mexico border, at the San Bernardino Ranch, located about 12 miles east of Agua Prieta/Douglas.

America’s Attempt to Bring Back Jaguars Will End with Trump’s Wall

January 26, 2017: Motherboard

The male jaguars crossing from Mexico to the US will soon be locked out.

With a scratch of a pen, President Trump could’ve very literally closed the door on any jaguars hoping to make a home in the American Southwest. The jaguar, extirpated from the United States since the mid-20th century, has been making some attempts at a comeback, with some gingerly creeping across the border from Mexico into Arizona and New Mexico.

Trump’s Mexican Border Wall Would Be an Ecological Disaster

January 15, 2017: Vice Motherboard

What we build on the border impacts more than just humans.

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday pushing ahead one of his signature campaign stumps—the construction of a massive $14-20 billion wall along the 2,000-mile-long border with Mexico, designed to deter illegal immigrants and drugs from entering the United States.

It’s Open Studio Season

October 20, 2016: Tucson Weekly

Tucson artists open their doors to show off metal jaguars, painted dreams, photos and more

Way out west on Ina Road, clear past the freeway, Pat Frederick has spent the past year making jaguars.

Borderlands Cat

September 1, 2016: Earth Island Journal

I am standing next to a tranquil, spring-fed pool in northern Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountain range. Lush grasses sway below a cliff glistening with life-giving liquid. In a nearby tree, two elegant trogons – gorgeous subtropical birds adorned in white, red, and green – settle down for the night. We’ve convened at the only reliable water source for miles around.

Wildlife Crossings Connect Critical Habitats Disrupted by Arizona Highways

December 4, 2015: KJZZ Radio

Highways in Arizona traverse open and urban areas, connecting people across the state. But roadways often create dangerous habitat divides for wildlife. Now, unlikely partners are developing what they hope will become a model for safe wildlife travel, even amid a development boom.

In Arizona’s Santa Rita Mountains, plans for the giant Rosemont mine have unleashed a battle.

: Arizona Republic

The Trump administration approved a new copper mine in Arizona. Opponents say it would destroy creeks and damage wildlife habitat where jaguars roam.