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Pronghorn Projects Prosper--Planning Proceeding
Southwest Region, November 6, 2006
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October saw much planning activity and several field projects involving   endangered species.  Ongoing since August was resuming of watering three   forage enhancement plots in Childs Valley that were built for the Sonoran pronghorn. This work will continue until the winter rains start.

Planning continued for three forage enhancement plots to be funded by Department of Homeland Security.   Conservation measures call for a single forage enhancement plot on Cabeza Prieta NWR. The Border Patrol is also partially funding a Sonoran pronghorn study to determine habitat usage in areas of intense patrolling and interdiction. The Border Patrol has provided funds to purchase 4 GPS satellite collars and to conduct monitoring flights. The refuge and Arizona Game and Fish Department will develop plans this winter for the construction of two additional emergency waters for pronghorn, and to re-construct a 60 year old desert bighorn sheep water in the Tule Mountains.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Yuma Marine Corps Air Station installed two Sonoran pronghorn emergency waters in Mohawk Valley. Other partners in the project included the Arizona Antelope Foundation, the Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club and the U.S. Marine Corps.

The refuge selected two new refuge LEOs and began processing them for arrival and eventual training at FLETC. Notice was given this month by one of the officers that he had a change of plans and was no longer interested, so the refuge will re-recruit for another officer. The refuge has 5 LEO positions but only two are filled.  Vacancies are likely to remain for another year, owing to the difficulty of attracting NRPT trained officers to the Cabeza to work Mexican border issues.

Refuge management was informed that Boeing Corporation received the Strategic Border Initiative (SBI) contracts from the Department of Homeland Security for the border surveillance technology program.  There will be two test sites, one of which will be the 30+ miles of the Barry M. Goldwater Range-Mexico border that adjoins the refuge. 

Manager Di Rosa was interviewed by National Public Radio, the Washington Post, the Arizona Capital Times and the Land Letter on border related program and articles.

Conservation outreach continued with an Ajo Cubscouts presentation for scout/parent night on Arizona wildlife, using pelts, tracks and scat.

A draft Visitor Services Plan for the refuge was completed and is under internal review.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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