Speakers to address Sonoran Desert stewardship, recreation

The SALT Speakers Series on Wednesday, Jan. 9, will feature a panel discussion of stewardship and responsible recreation in the Sonoran Desert.


It will take place 6:30 p.m. in room B-117 of the Apache Junction Multi-Generational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Road.

Footprints Matter to Us, a community involvement organization based in northern Pinal County, will monitor the discussion.

“It has an established record of organizing very effective volunteer desert cleanups, as well as panel discussions before a variety of stakeholder and user groups,” a release announcing the Jan. 9 session stated. “Stewardship is a continuous process that takes both commitment and courage.”

Among Footprints Matter’s most successful achievements over 10 years has been building relationships with land owners, including federal and state agencies, according to the release.

Communities such as Gold Canyon and Superior are bordered by lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service and Arizona State Land Department “where responsible recreation is vital,” the release stated.

“Interaction between the community, multiple users, lessees and land agencies is important to set and achieve common goals.”

The panel for the question-and-answer and discussion sessions will include representatives from Tonto National Forest, Mesa district office; Arizona State Land Department, trespass investigator and Off High Vehicle manager; Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb; and Arizona Game and Fish Department, Wildlife manager III. Natural Restorations, the Arizona State Parks and Trails OHV coordinator and Pinal County Open Space and Trails personnel also will attend.

The session will include a short presentation by each of the participants, as well as time for questions from the audience.

“Emphasis will be on how all partners can work cooperatively to achieve successful and sustainable multi-use recreation – including target shooting and off highway vehicle use – and environmental stewardship.

Among the topics being covered are: continued success of volunteer trash clean ups from Gold Canyon to Superior, update on Peralta Regional Park and recent rehabilitation at Desert Wells, a designated OHV use area on Arizona State Trust Lands.

The speakers series is co-sponsored by the Superstition Area Land Trust and the Apache Junction Parks and Recreation Department on most second and fourth Wednesdays, October-April.

The Apache Junction Independent publishes a daily newsletter and website. A print edition is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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