From all of us at the Arizona Wilderness Coalition, we wish you, your family and your friends a happy holiday season! We also ask that as you near the end of 2003 you keep the Arizona Wilderness Coalition in mind. Support from generous friends like you has enabled the Coalition to work hard to protect Arizonaís remaining wild public lands and waters. Unfortunately, there is always more work to be done. We need your help to provide lasting protection for Arizona's existing and vulnerable wilderness areas.

Click here to find out how to donate to AWC  

We hope your homes are filled with the warmth of family and friends...and thank you for your continuing support of Arizona's wilderness.

Issue 4, Winter 2003-04


A Season for Hope

Despite setbacks in a bleak Administration, wilderness protection is alive and well in Arizona. AWC Director Don Hoffman shares some end-of-the-year wilderness wisdom. Read more…


Saving the Best for Last
Few places remain in Arizona that are free of roads, teem with wildlife, and overflow with opportunities for solitude. Except for one.

Read how the Tumacacori Highlands are Arizona's chance to protect its last, truly wild natural heritage in a creative partnership with locals, ranchers, hunters, and conservationists.

Wilderness 101: The Nuts and Bolts of Conservation

Wilderness...oh yeah. That the place where I'll get eaten by a bear, where I'm locked out of doing anything fun, and where that big geyser blows every 10 minutes, right? WRONG. Confused about what's wilderness and what's not? Read more…

Where the Deer and Pronghorn Roam by Kim Vicariu, The Wildlands Project

Wildlands connect mammals, birds, and other critical species to their homes, feeding and mating grounds, and more diverse gene pools. But a web of roads and development is splintering these vital sanctuaries.Read more…



A Haven for Wildlife...and Trash: The desert tranquility that symbolizes The Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge contains the largest refuge wilderness in the lower 48. But its close proximity to the border has left it a dumping ground for illegal immigrant and drug runner trash. Read more…


SPECIAL FEATURE: The Wild Colorado River

Wild Land or Disney Land? With politicians manhandling the public process to satisfy private interests at the Grand Canyon, wilderness protection for the Colorado River is running out of time. Is the canyon's wild river heart hurtling toward theme park status? Read more…


The Return of the Mexican Gray Wolf

For years, the Mexican gray wolf was hunted to the brink of extinction, until one woman took on the challenge of restoring the animal to its natural habitat in Arizona's Blue Range.

In 1987, Bobbie Holaday formed the citizens'advocacy group "Preserve Arizona's Wolves" (PAWS) and advocated nationally for protection of the wild lands in Arizona wolves call home.

Her book, The Return of the Mexican Gray Wolf, is a first-hand account of her crusade and is now available in bookstores. A wonderful gift for wolf enthusiasts!



With Your Help, We CAN Protect Our Wildlands for the Future. Fossil Creek Springs. Photo by Jason Williams.

The Arizona Wilderness Coalition appreciates the generous financial support that we receive from private foundations and individuals. With your kind support, we are poised to do some significant and exciting work on behalf of wilderness protection. However, fundraising remains an immediate priority.

Private foundations, large donors, and individuals may make tax-deductible donations through our fiscal sponsor, The Wilderness Society. Please make your checks payable to "The Wilderness Society" and send them to:

Don Hoffman, Executive Director, AWC
P.O. Box 529
Alpine, AZ 85920

**Please make note on the memo line of your check "For Arizona Wilderness Coalition."

If you have any questions, you can also contact our Executive Director, Don Hoffman, at: Or telephone: (928) 339-4426.





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Wild Land or Disneyland?

binoculars graphic In Arizona, winter is the time to take the kids or the dog and get outside! Trek an untrekked trail! Explore with friends! Take a look at our upcoming list of inventory trips, meetings, workshops, and other wild and crazy outdoors activities. Check 'em out…


Arizona Game and Fish Department personnel captured and treated 22 desert bighorn sheep in the Ironwood Forest National Monument in mid-December to protect the animals from a disease outbreak--pink eye--that can cause blindness if not treated. Biologists say 13 of the captured bighorn sheep had the bacterial infection. Sheep donít necessarily die directly from the disease, but they inhabit areas with steep cliffs, where blind animals can easily die falling. Blind bighorns are also easy prey for mountain lions.
Game and Fish Department wildlife experts say that, based on what they saw during the capture operation, it appears the disease outbreak is concentrated around the main portion of the Silver Bell Mountains, which are located in the Ironwood Forest National Monument.

The bighorn sheep population in the Silver Bell Mountains is biologically and historically significant because it is the last naturally occurring bighorn population in the central part of Arizona and dates back to the Pleistocene era. The Silver Bell Mountains are located approximately 30 miles northwest of Tucson.


Watching wildlife is becoming a major economic pulse in Arizona and around the nation. Nearly 1.5 million people set off to watch wildlife in Arizona in 2001, spending more than $830 million dollars while they were at it. State income and sales tax as a result of the wildlife watching industry--from tourist purchases and siphoned from wildlife-related jobs--totaled more than $46 million in 2001.

Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service