Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Heather's Corner: Be a Voice for Oro Valley. An Opportunity to Stand for Change

Many of you may be familiar with Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection("Coalition"). The group formed in February of 1998.  At that time, the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl received federal protection under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1997.  The group's main goal is to bring science and planning "..into the equation as Pima County adopted and began its implementation of the ground-breaking Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP)."

The Coalition is comprised of 41 member groups, representing over 30,000 members. Their expertise and knowledge in conservation have led to many successful endeavors. They developed a collaborative process among the Coalition, Oro Valley, Pima County, and the Arizona State Land Department that resulted in a planned wildlife link between the Tortolita and the Catalina Mountains. The linkage runs through a possible 9000-acre “Arroyo Grande” development just south of the Pima-Pinal County line.

Today, the Coalition is asking concerned and interested citizens to join them at the Arizona State Capitol on Thursday, January 22. This is Environmental Lobby Day.  There, you will meet with Arizona State legislators. Its an opportunity for you to voice environmental concerns. Topics could include clean air, water, or land conservation. Everyone involved will be a part of a team with an experienced leader.

Don't feel ready to participate? Don't worry!

The Coalition has a Citizen Lobby Workshop scheduled for Wednesday, January 7th at the Historic Y ( (738 N. 5th Ave, Tucson) conference room from 5:30-7:30pm. This is a great chance to learn more about citizen lobbying and to prepare to meet with your legislators. Please RSVP Hannah Stitzer at hannah.stitzer@sonorandesert.org if you can join them for this informative evening event.

Don't have a ride to the Capitol?

The Coalition has a bus going round-trip from Tucson to Phoenix. The bus will leave from the Historic Y at 6am and will return no later than 6pm. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

This is a great opportunity to learn about the legislative process and current state affairs but also to be the voice for Oro Valley. For more information contact the Coalition office at (520) 388-9925.

Let us know how it goes!

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