People and the Upper Gila River Riparian Ecosystem: Past, Present, and Future

The 25th meeting of the Arizona Riparian Council was held in conjunction with the Gila Watershed Partnership at Eastern Arizona College in Safford, Arizona on March 29-31, 2012.

On Thursday, March 29, a workshop was conducted by Allen Haden and Stephanie Yard from Natural Channel Design. They presented an overview of what it takes to plan a stream restoration project. Based on information from an actual restoration project, workshop participants discussed project objectives and planning strategies. At the end of the workshop, Natural Channel Design revealed the plan they prepared for the project. On Saturday morning a field trip was taken to the project site.

The meeting on Friday consisted of a morning plenary session followed by a panel discussion made up of the invited speakers.

  • Jeanne Godaire, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Denver presented a study conducted on the geomorphology of the Gila River.
  • Jeff Humphrey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Phoenix discussed the Endangered Species Act and conservation efforts in the area.
  • Mary Reece, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix presented water issues on the Gila River.
  • Liz Petterson, Arizona Land and Water Trust talked about the Trust’s Desert River Initiative.
  • Jan Holder, Gila Watershed Partnership discussed conservation coordination efforts with local landowners

Contributed presentations made up the afternoon technical session and there was an evening dinner at Discovery Park, Safford, where Dave Henson spoke about the Chiricahua leopard frog refugium there and the recovery effort for the frog.


2012 – Eastern Arizona College, Thatcher