Results and Accomplishments
The construction of backyard ponds and revegetating fallow land with native plant species is now becoming a high priority neighborhood restoration project for West Branch landowners. The small size of the ponds and manageability against invasion by non-natives like bullfrogs, crayfish and non-native fishes were important factors in the success of this restoration project.
Funding from various sources, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona Department of Transportation, and private donors, is giving landowners the necessary financial and technical assistance to protect and restore valuable bird habitat by protecting biological diversity and reducing habitat fragmentation.
The creation of refugia ponds is only one of numerous restoration projects West Branch residents have identified as priorities for their neighborhood. On behalf of the West Branch community, the Arizona Land and Water Trust (formerly Arizona Open Land Trust) and our conservation partners prepared a landowner management plan for the West Branch that aims to maintain and restore a natural and cultural environment that supports riparian habitat, the bosque, biodiversity, and beauty. The three main strategies to accomplish the objectives identified in the West Branch landowner management plan are to conduct riparian habitat restoration projects throughout the watershed, to return a water supply to the channel and floodplain, and to adopt new city and county policies to underpin the objectives.