Investigate the Environmental Impact of Conquest, Militarism, Occupation and Border Policies: Hiking and Camping Delegation San Pedro River, Southern Arizona April 29-May 7, 2012

 Sponsored by the Alliance for Global Justice and lead by AfGJ National Co-Coordinator James Jordan.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: April 9, 2012–only six spaces offered!

FOR MORE INFORMATION, email James Jordan at james@afgj.org or call 520-243-0381

Cost: $850, covering all meals, non-camping housing, Southern Arizona transportation including airport pick-up and drop-off, hiking permits, guides, expert testimonies and presentations.

The San Pedro river flows 140 miles, from Cananea, Sonora, Mexico to the Gila River in Arizona. The Southwest’s last undammed river, it is also one of the country’s most endangered. The San Pedro watershed hosts one of the most unique and fragile ecosystems in North America. It is home to more than 80 species of mammals, including the rare and elusive jaguar and ocelot and coatimundi populations. It supports more than 65 species of reptiles and amphibians, and contains several fishes on the endangered list, including the spikedace and loach minnow. And it is a Mecca for bird watchers with almost two-thirds of the bird diversity in the US. Around 100 species of birds breed in or near the San Pedro River and an additional 250 species travel through the watershed, annually hosting as many as 4 million migrating birds each year. The American Bird Conservancy recognized the San Pedro as its first “globally important bird area”.

But it is a dying river – or more accurately, it is being murdered by militarism, border politics, and US mining and agribusiness interests. Since the 1870s when waves of English-speaking immigrants followed the US Calvary conquest of local Apaches, overgrazing, population growth, mining, and the military have impacted the river. Today, only the “Upper San Pedro” near the border with Mexico, has water year round. Military-Industrial Complex development has contributed to a 67% decrease in base flow since the 1940s.

Our delegation will begin near the banks of the Santa Cruz River, in Tucson–a dry river that provides a graphic example of the future the San Pedro faces. We will visit a pre-Colombian hunting cave with petroglyphs that testify to the rich biological diversity the area once enjoyed. We will then visit the site of the Fort Grant Massacre, at the confluence of the San Pedro and Aravaipa Creek, on the 141st anniversary of the massacre of over 100 Apache women, children and elderly while they were sleeping, and while most the men were away on a hunting expedition. We will then spend three days hiking through the astoundingly beautiful Aravaipa Canyon, followed by three days hiking along the Upper San Pedro in the company of an experienced birder, starting where the river crosses the US/Mexico border. We will see first hand the scars of border militarization. Non-hiking days will be occupied with informative presentations about the history, ecology and current issues regarding both the San Pedro and Santa Cruz rivers, including migration and militarism. The delegation will end with a press conference where we’ll testify as to our findings.

Delegates will need to be in excellent physical shape and able to hike up to seven miles a day with a 30-35 lb. pack. For an application and detailed itinerary, email or call today.

Alliance for Global Justice – http://AFGJ.org