TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Cienega Watershed Partnership (CWP) recently received an award from the U.S. Department of the Interior for its conservation efforts.
Last week Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior awarded the CWP its 2013 Partners in Conservation Award, they were one of 20 groups to get the award. Three CWP projects illustrated some of the area's best conservation efforts that involved cooperation and community involvement.
The first of these was Project FROG, which partners removed non-native species from the area to help native fish and leopard frog populations recover. A second program is Youth Engaged Stewardship (YES) the helps engage high school students in planning and implementing restoration projects in the county. The last program is the CWP Oral History Work group, who works to collect and transcribe oral history to help encourage cultural preservation of the area.
Among the Pima County offices involved in CWP are the Regional Flood Control District; Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation; and Office of Sustainability and Conservation. Pima County also provided the main funding for the conservation projects.
Cienega Creek covers an area just south of Sonoita's to the Pantano Wash, southeast of Tucson. This watershed area feeds more than 450 square miles and is bounded by several mountain ranges – the Empire, Whetstone, Santa Rita and Rincon. Pima County Board of Supervisors established the Cienega Creek Natural Preserve, which covers more than 4,000 acres along the last 12 miles of Cienega Creek.
The Bureau of Land Management is who nominated CWP for this award.