A Watershed Resource Assessment, completed in 2000, laid the foundation for the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance's conservation programs. The premise of the assessment was to recommend future activities based on an integrated evaluation of land use history and watershed resource condition.
The project was generously funded by an Arizona Water Protection Fund grant that was generously supplemented by pro bono and volunteer time. An outstanding project team consisting of Dr. Nathan Sayre (now a professor at University of California - Berkeley), Dan Robinett, Walt Meyers, and WestLand Resources spent hours in the field interviewing ranchers, engaging partners, and covering the country.
Assessment results substantiated resource management problems already familiar to Altar Valley agricultural operators and partners. Mesquite encroachment and excessive erosion emerged as key resource concerns. The Alliance Fire and Restoration Programs have evolved in response.
With the Resource Assessment a decade old as of 2010, the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance has begun to look for funding and partnership opportunities to update the resource assessment program and integrate lands that were not thoroughly incorporated in the original assessment. Stay tuned!
You can learn a great deal about the Altar Valley from the reports and maps that emerged from the Watershed Resource Assessment. The maps in particular have been a vital tool for planning and collaboration. They have been carried to many meetings and tossed across the hoods of many trucks.
Please keep in mind that they were produced in 2000, and are thus not up to date, particularly in the area of land ownership. Specifically, they do not portray Pima County acquisitions in the Altar Valley. Also, there are ranches that are active partner ranches now, that were not involved with the Alliance back in 2000.