Tag: Sierra Club

Protecting our Cultural and Natural Heritage

A group of artists and activists in southern Arizona are concerned about protecting the Santa Rita Mountains from the proposed Rosemont Mine. Below is a weathered outdoor map of the Empire and Cienega Resource Conservation Area, provided by the Forest Service (are the pock marks bullet holes? You see a lot of bullet holes on signs in Arizona).

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A Canadian company, Augusta Resource, is going through the process of acquiring mining rights to this area, and plans to mine for copper for the next 20 years. While mining is an Arizona industry, grand-fathered mining rights from the early 1900’s don’t necessarily reflect current needs to protect bio-diversity and cultural heritage. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/04/arizona-mining-project-wins-a-key-permit/

It is also questionable whether Augusta Resource plans to “flip” the property to another institution once the permissions have been made.http://www.ajelp.com/articles/not-your-fathers-mine-the-rosemont-copper-mine-and-dry-stack-tailings/

A view in the late afternoon on a crest just below the old Rosemont Ranch:

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I am documenting the area through oil painting studies done plein air:

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The study completed, in the 1 hour left before the sun sinks below the hills to the West:

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At risk in the area are: Recreation and Tourism (hiking, bird watching, horseback riding, ATV riding, taking a scenic drive); Biodiversity/Charismatic Species: Jaguar, Ocelot, Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Gila Chub, Gila Topminnow, Desert Tortoise, Chiricahua Leopard Frog, Lesser Long-Nosed Bat. Plants: Huachuca Water Umbel, Pima Pineapple Cactus, Coleman’s Coral-Root, Beardless Chinch Weed, Wildlfe connectivity and corridors; Water/Watersheds: Diminished riparian areas of Davidson Canyon and Cienega Creek watersheds will affect ranching, vineyards, wildlife and vegetation; Cultural Resources: More than 4 Native American tribal farming and historic burial grounds; Business: Vineyards in the Davidson Canyon area; Pecan Industry in Green Valley; Ranching (Cattle).

Please visit: http://www.scenicsantaritas.org, www.LensOnTheLand.com; and www.skyislandalliance.org.

Stormy Vortex in Sedona

The storm over Cathedral Rock comes closer in at 1:00 pm. The sky darkens.

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Before too long it’s time to skate along the side of the meadow to Oak Creek at the base.

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The water roils and churns, inspiring, the slabs of red rock lay flat.

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We dodge under some gentle oaks and watch the rain on the creek.

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After some time we walk slowly back to the meadows as the sun comes back out again.

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And start another sketch, this time in oil. The spirit of the ancestors has wound its way around.

Rincon Peak from the Miller Creek Trail

To get to the beautiful and scenic Rincon Peak from Tucson takes about an hour and a half, promising a warm afternoon of painting en plein aire.  

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Before you get to the Miller Creek Trailhead, however, you must past the old movie set, the town of Mescal.

ImageA town not too tough to die, but desolated anyway. Seasonal tours on Saturdays. Not sure what movies were made there. Do you know of any?

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Then passing through Happy Valley, beautiful Oak, Sycamore, Juniper and Mesquite trees surround dry creek beds. Until finally we set up in a spot near the Miller Creek Trailhead. The trail is an 8 hour hike to the top of Rincon Peak. We’ll stay below.

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Finished oil sketch, 14 x 16 inches. A study for a future studio piece to come. It was 100 degrees when we got back to Tucson Town! Isn’t it too early for that?