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Friday, January 10, 2014

Volunteers needed for Lower Salt River Clean Up Event

TONTO NATIONAL FOREST ANNUAL LOWER SALT RIVER CLEAN UP
Saturday, January 18, 2014

Spend a morning by a cool desert river while doing a public service volunteering to help clean up the Blue Point Recreation site located 20 miles northeast of Mesa.  Up to 300 volunteers (ages 8+) are needed for this annual river bank restoration effort.  Click on the link below for gear list,  job requirements, and meet up details.

INFO & SIGN UP: Mesa Ranger District, Tonto National Forest
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tonto/news-events/?cid=STELPRDB5444985

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Next Wag & Walk Dog Adoption hike is Saturday, Feb 1, 2014


WAG & WALK DOG ADOPTION HIKE: FEB. 1, 2014
Usery Mountain Regional Park, Mesa

Bark, I mean MARK your calendar (with a pen, not pee) for Saturday Feb. 1, 2014.  That's the date for the next Maricopa County Animal Care/County Parks DOG ADOPTION HIKE! On the first Saturday of each month from November through April, the public is invited to hike the Merkle Trail with adoptable dogs from Maricopa County Animal Care’s Mesa shelter. “Wag & Walk” hiker dogs are already spayed or neutered and available to go home on the spot, usually at reduced adoption fees.  Many of the dogs who participated in these hikes have found their "fur-ever" homes, and all of them certainly enjoyed strutting their stuff on the trail. 
The dogs also inspired some (human) hikers to become Day Foster Volunteers.  This special team takes dogs out of the shelter for a day, weekend or a few hours to walk, socialize or just to get some quiet time and extra attention.  Sound interesting?  Sign up here: http://www.maricopa.gov/Pets/help.aspx


LENGTH: 1-mile loop (Merkle Trail)
ELEVATION: 1950'
RATING: easy, barrier-free
FEE: $6 park entry fee per vehicle
FACILITIES: picnic tables, restrooms, water,
GETTING THERE:
3939 N. Usery Pass Rd., Mesa AZ 85207
From Phoenx, travel east on US60 to the Ellsworth Road exit.  Go north on Ellsworth to the park entrance.
TIME: 9 a.m. at the Merkle trailhead (area 6 parking).
INFO: Maricopa County Parks & Recreation, 480-984-0032

HIKING WITH WOLVES

WOLVES IN ARIZONA 2014 UPDATE


No, that "wolf" you saw in South Mountain Park, Phoenix was probably a coyote. This is an easy assumption because Arizona wolves are rare and live in remote areas far from cities.
Hunted to near extinction in the last century,  reintroduction of Mexican Grey Wolves into east-central Arizona's Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests began in 1998.  Since then, the population  has grown to 13 packs consisting of 46 animals with functional radio collars and 5 single wolves. Both revered and reviled, the beasts roam mainly in the Blue Range Primitive Area near the New Mexico border. The recovery area includes many terrific White Mountains hiking trails and although wolves are generally not a threat to people, it's a good idea to know where the packs roam and how to handle an encounter. Back in 2006, I was lucky enough to spot a wolf while hiking in the Blue. The animal darted across the trail several yards ahead of me, then went behind a tree and froze. I froze too. While I tried to quietly get my camera, the beast peeked at me, tail twitching, giving me a good enough look at its face to determine that ,yes, this was a wolf, not a coyote. The wolf appeared frightened as he/she seemed to weigh escape options before bolting off into the forest. It was a moment I'll never forget! AZ Game & Fish has just posted a wolf project update on their website. There's lots of good information about the program and telemetry flight locations of the packs.

WOLF LOCATIONS AS OF 1-6-2014:

Arizona Game & Fish Wolf Info: 928-339-4329