Bonita Project
March 12, 2011

By Glen Dickens, Director

Another successful AAF project was completed by 46 volunteers in Southeastern Arizona on March 12, 2011 in the north end of game management unit 32 at Bonita on state and private land on the Homack grazing allotment and an adjoining alfalfa field leased by another local land owner. This was a joint project sponsored by the AAF in conjunction with the Southeastern Arizona Sportsmen’s Club (SEAZSC) from Thatcher.

The project weekend had three elements; the first modifying 2.5 miles of existing fence to 4 strands by removing and rolling up the 4 bottom, barbed-wire strands and replacing with smooth-wire; role up and removal of 1 mile of 8 strands of old wire from a newly built pronghorn friendly fence and; installation of 7 “goat bars” surrounding a 640 acre alfalfa field that provides forage for up to 42 pronghorn. The day of our project the field was occupied by 12 pronghorn. 

This effort was located in direct proximity to ongoing mesquite removal for the Bonita Grasslands NRCS/G&F restoration project with a goal of improving up to 10,000 acres in the next 5 years and was 2 miles west of a 2011, AAF/NRCS/ranch funded HPC 300 acre mesquite removal project. This corridor improvement project will help ensure that resident pronghorn can travel through the smaller Bull Pasture to open grasslands surrounding the pasture to the east/west and south and have access to newly installed water troughs immediately west of the Bull Pasture and an alfalfa field one mile to the south. It accomplished a key portion of the overall northern Bonita Plains pronghorn travel corridor improvement project.

Lunch was donated by and grilled on the project site by SEAZSC, special thanks go to Bill Hoopes and Anita Willis for that effort. A delicious green chili pork carnitas dinner with sides was provided by Caterer Frank Hernandez of Tucson and Camp was located at the Stockton Pass USFS Campground the weather was perfect with no rain or wind. Mesquite for the evening fires was provided by George Hayes of the Cluff Management Wildlife Area.

Thanks go out to several groups of folks that contributed to this successful project..
-The Boswell family Art, Mark and sons Kyler, Zach and Samuel.
-Representing the AAF Board: Art of course, Jay Morrison, Al Sue, Connie Taylor and yours truly.
-Representing SEAZSC, Bill Hoopes, Anita Willis, Sam and Bob Turman, Jim Armbrust, Kandyce Smith, Rayburn Smith, Daniel, Jacob, Abraham and Joseph Ward, Jason and Kelkee Smith, Shayla Hancock, Chad and Christopher Kelleher, Bill Willis, Clay Sorriagarte, Brenda Stone, Chuck, Darlene and Elizabeth Brooks
 -Other AAF members and volunteers: Betty Dickens, Will Hayes, Janet Millard, Andrew Oldak, Mark Tervo, Dave Cruce, Terry Schupp, Ken and Kathy Cook and Barry and Andy Sopher
-University of Arizona Wildlife Majors, Ashley Williams and Myriam Hanna
-Game & Fish personnel: John Bacorn, Troy Christensen, Duane Aubuchon and George Hayes

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