AZ Highways Article

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Jeffshadows
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AZ Highways Article

Post by Jeffshadows » May 12 2009 2:12 pm

So AZ Highways published an article this month about sprawl and the Santa Catalinas that didn't even scratch the surface of what is happening to those poor mountains. Oh well, at least they're paying attention...somewhat. I guess I can't fault a publication whose charter is to draw tourists to AZ for not pointing out what price the ecosystem sometimes pays for those improved tourism opportunities. :D
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sidhayes
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by sidhayes » May 12 2009 2:58 pm

Please inform me of what is happening to these "poor mountains". What price is the "ecosystem paying for those improved tourism opportunities"?

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dysfunction
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by dysfunction » May 12 2009 3:03 pm

Well, the trash I've collected alone is part of the answer to both of those alone (not even a major part), then there are the 'over-loved' (read over-used and under-respected) areas back in there.

Edit: Wow! Had to rewrite that, it was confusing even to me, now if I could only compose a fully articulate sentence today I'd be doing well.
Last edited by dysfunction on May 12 2009 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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writelots
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by writelots » May 12 2009 3:16 pm

sidhayes wrote:What price is the "ecosystem paying for those improved tourism opportunities"?
Overlove is exactly it. However, it isn't just the trash from campers or the impact from hikers... The biggest impact you see out there is summed up with one word: development. Building housing blocks, roads, resorts and commercial developments on the slopes of the mountains has dramatically reduced the amount of habitat available and has nearly totally cut-off migration routes and home ranges for animals that need more room than one mountain range can provide (big horn sheep being the most obvious causalty in this range). The loss of habitat is even greater when you consider how far away from these developments you have to get before flora and fauna are no longer impacted by their presence. People think that when you build a house in the foothills, you're only impacting the .3 acres of land that you develop, but you don't realize that this pushes the boundary of the natural world back many thousands of feet beyond your back gate. Sure, you've got a great view, and bunnies and quail in your front yard every morning. But at what price?

Sprawl up the foothills and between the Tortalitas and the Catalinas is eliminating mountain lion habitat and mobility - and when the apex predators disappear, the whole ecosystem begins to fall apart...
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Jeffshadows
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by Jeffshadows » May 12 2009 3:25 pm

sidhayes wrote:Please inform me of what is happening to these "poor mountains". What price is the "ecosystem paying for those improved tourism opportunities"?
No disrespect meant, but: "If you have to ask..."
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sidhayes
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by sidhayes » May 12 2009 3:43 pm

Are you sure that the whole ecosystem falls apart, or does it simply change? Maybe the change is for the better?

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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by rally_toad » May 12 2009 6:38 pm

sidhayes wrote:Are you sure that the whole ecosystem falls apart, or does it simply change? Maybe the change is for the better?
:sl: :sl: :sl:

Development changing ecosystems for the better!!!??? lol

:sl: :sl: :sl:
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azbackpackr
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by azbackpackr » May 12 2009 6:43 pm

Yeah, let's build some more ostentatious, pretentious, honky, resource-sucking monstrosities up there in the foothills. That'll make everything a LOT better. Diamond Don can get richer, too--he really needs more money! (Is he still alive?)

Gad. Glad I left. I despise conspicuous consumption, and in Tucson it hits you over the head everywhere you look.
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by Jeffshadows » May 12 2009 6:44 pm

Yes our buddy Don is still around and going strong.
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by azbackpackr » May 12 2009 6:46 pm

Man, he is one dude who is easy to hate. I remember when people were begging and pleading with him to cease and desist near Pima Canyon and Finger Rock Canyon, asking him to donate the property to the county for a park. Like he needed more money. What a jerk.
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by rally_toad » May 12 2009 6:48 pm

Whats this guys full name and who is he?

Im still rolling over that a hiker would claim that development and removing an apex predator from the ecosysytem could "change it for the better"!!
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azbackpackr
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by azbackpackr » May 12 2009 6:50 pm

Rally Toad, if you're referring to the developer guy: We always referred to him as Diamond Don. His actual name is Don Diamond. He's responsible for the developments at the entrances to both Pima and Finger Rock Canyons. Remember those arson fires in those houses up there a few years ago? That was in one of his developments.

He's old and he's rich, and he could have donated the property and still been plenty rich, and he would also have engendered people's good will if he had done that. Now he is just despised by so many people that he probably has to keep body guards. He was formally asked to donate the property and also, I seem to recall that Nature Conservancy offered to buy it from him.

He must really be old now, because he was old 15 years ago. I'm sure you can find plenty about him on the internet.
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by writelots » May 12 2009 7:07 pm

He's still around and orchestrating the development at the boundary of Saguaro National Park now. Same old shenanigans.

Of course, the fact is that there are people who will not only buy those mcmansion monstrosities, there are people who are willing to pay an arm and a leg or more to be 15 feet closer to the wilderness than the guy down the street. Hard to blame Don alone - I blame each and every person who has ever purchased a property in these developments. Without market support, he'd have no reason to blade that ground.

And I'm with you rally_toad. Any hiker who believes that ecosystem change as a result of human development is a good thing belongs on a treadmill, not on a trail.
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azbackpackr
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by azbackpackr » May 12 2009 7:12 pm

Saguaro East, or West??

I haven't been down there in a couple of years.
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by rally_toad » May 12 2009 8:47 pm

azbackpackr wrote:Saguaro East, or West??
Im not sure it matters which one, both have development right up to the boundary, literally built houses on the boundary of west side, and the closing of Madrona on the east side, I just don't see how its legal for a private party to close or restrict access to our public land!
This is pretty much why my trip to the Brooks Range in Alaska fell through, the mining company decided not to let us fly in there, even though they will not even being using the air strip during the time.
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by azbackpackr » May 13 2009 4:15 am

I don't agree with it, either. The Madrona closing has a long history, though. I moved to Tucson in 1986, and I think it may have been closed at that time. I definitely remember that in '92, when my son joined Scouts, that the Scoutmaster talked about it. I seem to recall he was able to get permission one time for the troop to go back in there. I didn't go on that trip, so am not sure.

In California there are laws providing for beach access. You'll be driving along in some fancy neighborhood on the coast and a scruffy surfer will appear out of nowhere, and you look and there will be a little walkway with stairs to the beach.
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by desert spirit » May 13 2009 7:02 am

writelots wrote:Of course, the fact is that there are people who will not only buy those mcmansion monstrosities
The first time I saw some of them, I was like ... these are houses??? People live in these???

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sidhayes
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by sidhayes » May 13 2009 8:12 am

My post was just a kind suggestion perhaps not to consider development always bad. After all, what can you do about it. Perhaps a solution would be to become one of the "rich" and donate the land. Regarding change in ecosystems, why is this change for the worst? The nature of the world is change. Why would this be different?

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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by Jeffshadows » May 13 2009 8:20 am

I could go on for hours about the mcmansion crowd, but I think everyone knows what the gist would be. The current development problems with Diamond center around the southwestern and northwestern boundaries of Saguaro east.

As to the other thing about development being a "Good thing," they danced around that concept in the Highways article, too. It reminds me of those ads being run by the coal and petroleum industry in the 90's claiming that more CO2 was good because it gave plants more fuel, etc.

If we want to stop development, we need to take away one of their primary political arguments, that being that development "Creates jobs." This is completely ridiculous, of course, but they manage to win voters over with it every time there's a decision on the ballot. They parade some nice, middle-class guy who talks about how his little house painting company needs more work or his daughter with five limbs and autism won't get her surgery and/or medication. Then he goes on about how is dog just died and how he's an honest guy just trying to make a living like anyone else. The suckers run out and vote without hearing another word, and Don & Company go and raze another huge swath of pristine desert with the aid of labor from south of the border. That doesn't even touch on the fact that the idea itself is completely short-sighted and helps perpetuate the system of wealth distribution that is our current state of social affairs (No - I am NOT advocating wealth redistribution.)

Look at this idiotic hotel they just approved for Rio Nuevo...I would be very interested to see how much of the work goes to out-of-state firms since they are claiming it will create jobs for "Thousands." Thousands of whom? Thousands of Sonorans and Chihuahuans? Thousands of people from some huge steel works firm out of Texas? It will be interesting to see...
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Re: AZ Highways Article

Post by joebartels » May 13 2009 8:27 am

I find it difficult to believe people are truly concerned about an ecosystem or the environment in general when they drive fossil fuel vehicles and/or have babies in this over populated world. The majority of us are guilty, stating one is more guilty than the other is ludicrous.
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