Sonoita Work Project
October 16, 2004


     The AAF’s last work project of 2004 took place near Sonoita on October 16th.  It went off amazingly well despite only one member of the AAF Board attending, David Brown.  The work that John Millican had outlined only involved raising the bottom wire and shifting the second strand downward so that more equipment was not needed.

    The work project was on the private Babocomari Ranch, the fate of which is presently being negotiated between the owners and the BLM.  Unless this former land grant is acquired by Uncle Sam, this luxuriant grassland will be almost certainly subdivided and lost to pronghorn. As it is, the area supports a small but viable population.  One of the AAF workers, Shawn Clarno (backed up by Jerry Clarno) successfully bagged a great buck in the project area during the previous archery season.  The rancher has been a good cooperator with AGFD and allows some hunting on the premises.

Vern West, another AAF member, took a series of photos of a herd of 10 (one buck, 8 does, and one fawn) just prior to our arrival, while providing a series of great photos of the work project (watch for them soon on the website). The purpose of changing the fences is to allow the pronghorn better access and egress to the Babocomari where the Ranch property borders a newly paved road and several "mini-ranches,: thus complicating pronghorn movements.

    All in all, we had 23 people show up--10 ASU folks, 10 AAF members, John Millican from the AGFD, Linda Kennedy from the Audubon Research Ranch, and Dan Robinett from the NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service).  John's project was well organized and supervised, and because everyone worked exceptionally hard, we completed the entire four + miles of fence by 4:30 Saturday afternoon. The ages of the participants ranged from 19 to nearly 80 (AAF member and former Game Management Chief Paul Webb).    Fire restrictions prohibited a campfire so David Brown gave those who arrived on Friday night (mostly students), the option of ordering a steak dinner in Sonoita on either Friday or Saturday night.

Thanks to the following for their help: Bruce Wright, Jerry Clarno, Shawn Clarno, Eugene Hays, Warren Adams, Dan Robinett, Tucson; Vern West, Barb West, Tempe; Paul Webb, Scottsdale; Rene Dube, Hereford; John Rose, Sierra Vista; Linda Kennedy, Elgin; John Millican, Hereford; David E. Brown, Phoenix; ASU Students Elaine Anthonise, Cynthia M. Girardin, Nicholas R. Whipps, Keely Arnold, Benjamin L. Rreeser, Jeffery S. Clark, Laura Sloane, Lucia Ibarra, Iris Reino.

2004 Sonoita Project Photos by Vern West


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