The 2009 Fall Campout Meeting was held October 3-4 at the National Audubon Society’s Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch ;located about an hour south of Tucson near Elgin, Arizona. The Research Ranch is a sanctuary for native plants and animals encompasses nearly 7000 acres of semi-arid grassland and related ecosystems, which support 22 species of conservation concern. Partially owned by the National Audubon Society and recognized as an Important Bird Area, the sanctuary has remained ungrazed by domestic livestock since 1969 and has been protected within a larger ecosystem under pressure from continued growth of the human population.
On Saturday, Linda Kennedy, Director of the Research Ranch, provided a history of the Ranch as well as an overview of some of the research and restoration projects that have been implemented on the Ranch. Dan Robinett talked about the Arizona Water Protection Fund project to conserve riparian areas on Babocomari Creek and key tributaries located on the Babocomari Ranch and Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch. Ron Tiller presented information about sacaton grasslands, their importance, and how to manage to enhance them. After the speakers everyone had time to explore the area and then the Council provided dinner. On Sunday morning we learned about some of the monitoring projects that are occurring on Turkey Creek, O’Donnell Creek and the Babacomari River during a hike through these riparian systems.