First quarter grant applications were presented and voted on at the February 26th AZSFWC Board meeting. Five grants were approved in the amount of $59,137 and included the following:
$25,000 was awarded to the AZ Antelope Foundation (AAF) for mesquite eradication spot treatment. This project is a follow up as part of the multi-year Southeastern Arizona Grasslands Pronghorn Initiative that began in 2010 through a National Fish and Wildlife Federation Grant obtained through the efforts of the AAF. The overall project goal is to restore historical grasslands on a landscape scale, and connectivity to 100,000 acres across SE Arizona, which was accomplished in April 2018. Mesquite removal was conducted as part of that project, and this most recent grant award will treat spots where mesquite regeneration occurred either through small seedlings that were missed initially, or through seed dispersal. This spot treatment ensures long-term grassland restoration efforts are maintained. Additional funding will be provided by the AAF and the Vera Earl Ranch.
$1875 was awarded to the AZ Trout Unlimited Council (AZTU) to support their 10th Annual Native & Wild Trout Conference. The Conference was founded in 2010 with the goal to provide a free educational conference for those interested to meet, network, and develop future plans to promote restoration and management of watersheds and native fish species in Arizona. The upcoming conference will take place on April 11, 2019 with an expected 175 registrations with representatives from over 50 conservation organizations, state and federal agencies. Other funding and in-kind support partners include AZTU, & AZ Game & Fish Department.
$20,000 was awarded to the AZ Chapter of NWTF to support AZ Game & Fish Department’s Public Outreach Program for Watchable Wildlife. This program is tasked with engaging a segment of the public in wildlife conservation, management actions, and scientific biological concepts through various outreach avenues such as field-based wildlife viewing activities, lectures, and wildlife cameras. These programs provide a multifaceted pathway for the AZGFD to deliver targeted messaging to a public who shares a passion for wildlife but would otherwise be unreachable via media employed to reach traditional audiences of hunters and anglers. These programs also provide a platform to highlight the expertise of the AZGFD and their authority and mission to manage and conserve all wildlife species in the state. This grant award will support the purchase, professional installation, upkeep and connectivity of wildlife viewing cameras.
$5,000 was awarded to Tucson Audubon Society for their “Bringing Lucy’s Warblers Home” project. Lucy’s Warbler (LUWA) is a small cavity-nesting bird that is currently listed by the AZ Game & Fish Department as a tier 1C Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The overall goal of the project is to create more nesting opportunities for LUWA in southeast Arizona. Efforts will be concentrated in the Tucson area. Funding and in-kind partners include Tucson Audubon Society, University of Arizona, National Audubon Society, AZ Game & Fish, Desert Survivors Nursery, Silverbell Nursery, Coronado National Forest, Pima County Natural Resources Parks and Recreation, Pima County Office of Sustainability and Conservation, Trees for Tucson, Desert Woodcrafters Club, Tucson Parks and Recreation, multiple Scouting organizations, numerous nurseries, volunteers and students.
$7,262 was awarded to the AZ Chapter of NWTF to support their 2019 Marvin Robbins Youth Turkey Camps. The purpose of the camps is to introduce families and youth hunters to spring turkey hunting in a safe family-oriented environment during a juniors-only hunt where the focus is on creating a positive experience and enthusiasm for hunting. Many Arizona parents, including seasoned hunters and non-hunters do not have the knowledge and/or skill in spring turkey hunting techniques. By providing a mentored opportunity for the youth and their families to acquire the knowledge and skills, it is anticipated they will be inclined to continue hunting. Funding and in-kind partners include state and local NWTF chapters, AZ Elk Society, AZ Deer Association, Outdoor Experience 4 All, AZ Game & Fish, Arizona Bowhunters Association, Rocky Mt Elk Foundation, Phoenix Varmint Callers, and AZ Predator Callers.