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The Nature Conservancy in Arizona

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Volunteers Map the San Pedro

The San Pedro, which runs 170 miles north from Mexico through southern Arizona, supports a large riverside cottonwood-willow forest that is a globally significant flyway for birds, providing critical stopover habitat to up to 4 million migrating birds each year. © Lily House-Peters

The San Pedro River is one of the last large, free flowing rivers remaining in the desert southwest. It’s important to the area’s economy, sustaining farming, ranching, recreation and mining in both Arizona and Mexico. © Lily House-Peters

Volunteers armed with GPS look for a stretch of water along the San Pedro River. Dozens of partners coordinate this massive effort that covers over 220 miles within the San Pedro River Basin every June. The annual mapping project began in 1999. © Patrick Coghlan

Volunteers say the day offers many rewards including great wildlife encounters – like the deer you see here - rare access to scenic stretches, and knowing they are having a positive impact.  © Patrick Coghlan

Sacred detura found along a dry section of the river near Tombstone Gage. You’ll also find willow and bulrush along the San Pedro River. © Brooke Bushman

Wet/dry mapping volunteers record data north of Fairbank. Last year’s (2011) mapping revealed water was present in 33% of the river overall in late June before the monsoon rains began. © Brooke Bushman

Jessica Hayes finds a wet stretch of the river as she maneuvers through the waist-high water. © J.J. Aderholt

Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve Manager Matt Killeen checks mapping data submitted by Ramsey Canyon Preserve employee Charlie Ohrel. The results help the Conservancy and its many partners identify where to focus conservation projects. © Brooke Bushman

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