Dear Cooperators and Winkelman NRCD Supporters:
Let us tell you what your Winkelman NRCD has been working on the past year to protect and conserve your natural resources.
SunZia: This project is in its 7th year. As you recall, the District Board along with the Redington District Board spent hundreds of man hours working on the BLM Environmental Impact Statement trying to get the massive powerline project to be built along the I-10 corridor instead of through new ground along either the San Pedro or the Aravaipa watersheds. After many meetings with BLM people-one with the State Director who threatened to walk out in a meeting, we were unsuccessful in the EIS process, even though we did get the alignment out of the river bottom. We then attacked it during the Arizona Corporation Commission Line-Siting-Committee process. The Committee ultimately approved the route but their Certificate of Environmental Compatibility required that SunZia to work with us to make the project the “gold standard” for powerline construction in Arizona. Chris Fletcher was hired as our contractor liaison. He has been diligently meeting with affected landowners and the developers to identify and work on any potential conflicts beforehand with very good success. Chris is working with the construction contractor identifying sensitive soils and sensitive areas that will need alternative construction methods.
Oracle Community Garden: Last year, the Redington and Winkelman District bought two hoop houses to be placed at Central Arizona College, Aravaipa campus in partnership with them. Before we were able to get them up, CAC decided they didn’t want them on campus. We were contacted by Linda Leigh of the Oracle Community Garden group and made a deal to put a hoop house on their property. They would partner with us on our Education mission and grow native plants for us to use in range and river bottom restoration and further our education mission. In February, 2019, the District was awarded a $50,000 Urban Ag Grant from the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) . These NACD funds will provide technical assistance for conservation best-management practices using the Oracle Community Learning Garden as a district-wide demonstration hub, enabling three goals: hoop house installation; community-wide vermicomposting system; and a water conservation system. In terms of education program, the hoop house will be used for training in botany, growing native landscape plants and vegetable starts, and for teaching the propagation of plants.
Click on the links below to view the rest of the update and the Cooperator Agreement & Questionnaire.