As we celebrate the holidays, all of us at the Arizona Trail Association would like to thank you for your support. This time of year provides an opportunity to reflect and be grateful for all we have accomplished and look forward to the future.
As you remember some of your highlights from this past year, please take a moment to think about your time spent on the Arizona Trail and contribute what you feel those experiences are worth.
Every dollar you donate in an investment in your future adventures on the Arizona Trail while also providing experiences to countless others whose lives will be positively impacted by time spent on the trail. Please make a contribution before the end of the year so we can protect, maintain, enhance, promote and sustain the Arizona National Scenic Trail as a unique encounter with the land.
You can make a secure tax-deductible donation online at aztrail.org.
Camping Permits For Saguaro National Park Going Online
Saguaro National Park is changing the way the park manages overnight camping permits in the Rincon Mountain Wilderness. Visitors will go to recreation.gov to reserve their camping permits for trips starting on February 1 or later. The Visitor Center will not issue permits in person after January 31. Permit reservations are taken 2 months in advance of the permitted start of a trip.
“We are responding to a visitor request to make obtaining camping permits easier, especially for thru-hikers on the Arizona Trail,” said Chief Ranger, Ray O’Neil. “Visitors will be able to make camping arrangements online from their homes prior to their trip or on their mobile devices without having to come into the Rincon Mountain Visitor Center to pick up the permit.”
In the past, the park has managed wilderness camping permits in person or via fax and snail mail. Park staff believe this online system will create a more responsive and faster service for campers without an increase in cost per permit. Permits will continue to cost $8 per campsite per night.
Saguaro National Park has six campgrounds in the Rincon Mountains, all of which are accessible only by hiking or on horseback. For more information and the link to the recreation.govwebsite, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/sagu/planyourvisit/camping.htm
Donate Your Winter Clothing
Did you receive a new jacket for the holidays? Have your children or grandchildren outgrown their snow pants? Or maybe you just want to help young people stay warm while exploring the Arizona Trail this winter. You can help provide meaningful outdoor education experiences this season by donating winter clothing to our Seeds of Stewardship program.
We are especially in need of:
Insulated jacketsWaterproof snow pantsWinter hatsInsulated/waterproof gloves and mittens
One of the biggest barriers to low-income youth accessing and enjoying the outdoors is lack of proper gear. We are in need of warm winter clothing in all sizes, but especially for boys and girls grades 4-10.
Thanks to Peace Surplus for providing a location for our winter clothing donation box from December 9-23. We are still in need of more items! If you have something to offer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You will also receive an in-kind donation acknowledgement for tax purposes upon request.
Senator Sinema Supports Protecting Grand Canyon
Last week, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema introduced legislation to protect the Arizona Trail, Grand Canyon National Park and the Colorado River through a permanent moratorium on new mining claims on just over 1 million acres of public lands to the north and south of Grand Canyon National Park. This includes over 60 miles of the Arizona National Scenic Trail. Sinema’s bill (S.3127) is a companion to the Grand Canyon Centennial Protect Act (H.R.1373) that passed a vote by the House of Representatives in October.
If approved by Congress, this bill would make permanent the 20-year ban on uranium mining put in place in 2012. Although twenty years have not yet passed, representatives from the U.S. mining industry recently asked the Supreme Court to overturn the rule.
“The Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act must be passed into law because this region is not now, nor will it ever be the right place to mine uranium,” said Amber Reimondo, Energy Program Director for Grand Canyon Trust. “While Americans are still holding the bag from the last time the government prioritized uranium mining, research has underscored the erratic nature of groundwater flow in this region, and government records have shown just how little the region holds of known recoverable domestic uranium. Uranium mining near the Grand Canyon amounts to little more than an unnecessary gamble of a sacred landscape, a worldwide wonder, and a primary driver of the Northern Arizona economy,” she said.
Many Arizonans are wondering if Republican Senator Martha McSally will support the bill. McSally has an affinity for the Arizona Trail and Grand Canyon, but has not yet taken a position on S.3127. Please contact McSally’s office if you’d like to share your thoughts with her. And please consider sending a note of appreciation to Senator Sinema for introducing this legislation.
“Thirty years ago, when we first began fighting against the disastrous effects of uranium mining in our homelands, we were alone in this fight,” said Carletta Tilousi, Councilwoman for the Havasupai Tribe. Now we are joined by members of Congress. This support sends a strong message that it is important to protect the Grand Canyon. Not only for the Havasupai People, but for all people, for all generations.”
One-N-Ten Foundation Improves the Arizona Trail
Last month, the Arizona Trail Association joined forces with One-N-Ten Foundation to improve the Arizona Trail's Passage 18 near the town of Superior. With guidance from the ATA's Volunteer Coordinator and Community Program Coordinator, 15 outstanding volunteers gathered to learn about the importance of trail maintenance and then got to work along this popular segment of trail.
Based in Phoenix, One-N-Ten Foundation serves LGBTQ youth and young adults ages 11-24 and their mission is to enhance lives by providing empowering social and service programs that promote self‐expression, self‐acceptance, leadership development, and healthy life choices. As part of the ATA's commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility, we are engaging organizations like One-N-Ten to welcome their community members to the Arizona Trail and invite them to be part of our mission.
Arizona Trail Association Office is Moving!
The Arizona Trail Association is moving our office! Please note our new address:
738 N. 5th Avenue, Suite 201 Tucson, Arizona 85705
After six years in the Epic Rides building nearby, we are moving to The Historic Y — Tucson’s premier center for the arts, education, human rights, and social and environmental justice. One of Tucson’s architectural treasures, The Historic Y is both a full-service professional office building and a community center. The Arizona Trail Association will be one of many nonprofit organizations within the historic building, including some of our most important partners in the protection and maintenance of the trail.
We hope you will stop in and see us sometime after we’re all moved in on December 30.