Projects

A Holistic Approach

We take a holistic approach in developing and implementing our projects. Even though most of our projects involve boots-on-the-ground field work, there are many important social and economic implications of our work that must also be taken into consideration. We address social, economic, and environmental issues in each and every project.

Current Projects

Upper Gila Watershed Riparian Restoration Project
This project, funded by grants from the Walton Family Foundation, Freeport McMoRan Inc., and the United Way of Graham County, will remove invasive tamarisk and restore portions of the Upper Gila River banks to native vegetation before the Tamarisk Beetle arrives and devastates critical wildlife habitat. The Gila Watershed Partnership, with the Bureau of Land Management constructed a greenhouse and plantation fields at the Eastern Arizona College Discovery Park Campus to grow the native plants to be used in this and other restoration projects.

Eastern Arizona College – Discovery Park Campus Pollinator Garden
This project, funded by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Eastern Arizona College (EAC), and USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, will create pollinator garden on the EAC Discovery Park Campus. This demonstration project will show the community which plants benefit pollinators, and how to create earthworks basins to capture rainwater. This area can be used as a future educational site where teachers can talk about the importance of pollinators – including the monarch butterfly – to our community.  Without the current and future support of our community volunteers and partners, this project would not be possible!

Growing Greenlee County as a Birding Destination
This project, funded by Freeport McMoRan Inc, will install birding trails throughout Greenlee County. The landscape diversity in this region make for robust birding experiences along rivers, agricultural areas, and canyons.

Past Projects

The Gila River Restoration at Apache Grove
This project was made possible through funding from the Arizona Water Protection Fund and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Partners for Fish and Wildlife Grant Program. It will remove levees, establish a native vegetation buffer, and restore proper function to a portion of the Gila River. View a presentation on Apache Grove project.

The Gila River Water Conservation Education Project – Water Counts
This water conservation grant, funded by the Arizona Water Protection Fund, will match a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation grant obtained by Graham County Cooperative Extension. The project will include water audits for homes, businesses and the municipalities, and reduce the water use in our community.

The Buildings on Chase Creek in Clifton – Facade Improvement Project
This project was funded by Freeport MacMoRan Copper and Gold, Inc. It was funded by “mini-grants” for facade improvement of the storefronts in Duncan and Clifton in Greenlee County.

The Upper Gila River Fluvial Geomorphology Study
This project, funded by the Arizona Water Protection Fund, studied historic changes, flood frequency, flow duration, geomorphic maps, geomorphic analyses, and stable channel analyses. It provides a framework for understanding the physical processes that shape the Gila River upstream of the San Carlos Reservation. Final Report

The Central Detention Dam Rehabilitation Project
This project improved the detention dam that protects the Thatcher area from flood waterr that drains from Mount Graham. It was funded by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Water Quality Improvement Grant Department.

The Point of Pines Restoration Project
This project installed cattleguards and fencing to exclude livestock from an eroded road crossing at the confluence of Eagle and Willow Creeks in Greenlee County. It was funded by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Water Quality Improvement Grant Department.

The Abandoned Vehicle Removal ProjecCrushed Vehicles Loaded for Removalt
This project was made possible through funding from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Quality Improvement and Recycling Grant Programs. This project removed abandoned vehicles, and recycled them.

The Gila River Clean Up Project
This project was made possible through funding from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Quality Improvement Grant Program. In this project, we removed a massive debris pile in and along a quarter-mile area adjacent to the Gila River. Power Point presentation for the Gila River Clean Up Project.

The Kaler Ranch Erosion Control Project, Phase I
This project was made possible through funding from the Arizona Water Protection Fund, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Quality Improvement Grant Program, and the Arizona Department of Agriculture Livestock and Crop Conservation Grant Program. This project will reduce erosion and sedimentation deposition in the San Francisco River.

The Buzzard Roost Undocumented Immigrant Clean Up Project
This project was made possible through funding from the U. S. Bureau of Land Management. This project will clean up a large dump site made by illegal immigrants, as well as other UDI dump sites throughout our watershed. Illegal Immigrant Trash at Buzzard Roost.

The San Simon Legacy Database
This project was made possible through funding from the U. S. Bureau of Land Management. This project will digitize a large collection of data concerning the San Simon watershed, and develop a queryable database for use in restoration efforts.

River Network/MillerCoors
MillerCoors and River Network, have created a grant program for non-profits that are focused on agricultural and water issues. Eight finalists were chosen. The Gila Watershed Partnership made the finals in a national grant competition – and were awarded $1,000, which will help with expenses on the E.coli Reduction on the San Francisco and Lower Blue Rivers project that has been funded by ADEQ.

Dzil Nchaa Si’An/Mt. Graham Youth Practicum Education Project Grant
This project, funded by a grant from the ADEQ Water Quality Improvement Grant Department,will provide educational opportunities about water quality and the heatlh of Mount Graham to tribal youth from the San Carlos Apace Tribe.

The Peterson Wash Stabilization Project
This project, funded by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, replaced a highly eroded river crossing. It reduced erosion and sediment in the Gila River. View a power point presentation of the completed project.

E.Coli Reduction through Alternative Livestock Water on Kaler Ranch, Phases I, II, and III
This project, funded through grants awarded by the Arizona Water Protection Fund, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Quality Improvement Grant Program, and the Arizona Department of Agriculture Livestock and Crop Conservation Grant Program, reduced E.coli in the San Francisco River, through the installation of off-riparian wells and fencing. View a Power Point Presentation of the completed project.

Measuring the flow of the San Francisco River

E.coli Reduction on the San Francisco and Lower Blue Rivers
This grant, funded by a grant from the ADEQ Water Quality Improvement Grant Department, researched the sources of the E.coli contamination on the San Francisco and lower Blue Rivers in Greenlee County. It involved sampling the water and testing it for E.coli. DNA testing was completed on the high E.coli readings to determine whether the source was human, livestock or “other”, which could include wildlife or domesticated animals such as pet dogs or cats. Our goal is to remove the two rivers from the EPA’s list of Impaired Waters, and enjoy healthier rivers and safe water. View a Power Point Presentation of the project.

The Syfert Wildlife Watering Facility – Wildlife Watering Hole at Ten Ranch
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program funded this project. It turned and old cistern into a place for wildlife to water. It is particularly important beacause it is located in an area where no other water is available for wildlife. A game camera will soon be installed to view the wildlife that visit the facility.

Upper Gila Watershed Master Watershed Steward – Pre-Vegetated Area at Apache Grove Program
This program, funded by Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Water Quality Improvement Grant Department in Graham County and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation in Greenlee County, provides watershed education classes. A course in Graham and a course in Greenlee are currently in session. In Graham County the classes are through Eastern Arizona Community College.

The Graham County Fairgrounds Project
This project, funded by the Bureau of Reclamation, is to reduce the water consumption of the fairgrounds facility by installing low-water use toilets, urinals, faucets, and sprinklers. All have been recently installed.

The Ely Fence Replacement Project
This project, funded by the Arizona Water Protection Fund, is to repair or replace fencing between the San Carlos Apache Tribe Reservation and the U.S. Forest in order to prevent livestock from entering Eagle Creek and contaminating with E. Coli. It is in final negotiations on fence configuration, with negotiations between the allotment owner, the San Carlos Apache Tribe, and the U.S. Forest Service Clifton Ranger District.