Landmark Arizona Birding Property Saved By Purchase

Wednesday, March 05, 2014 - by Bonnie Paton Moon

This article speaks specifically to Paton’s Birder Haven in southeast Arizona, Marion and Wally Paton’s backyard.  Paton’s became a birding mecca over the last few decades thanks to the legendary generosity of a couple who enjoyed feeding the birds and decided to open their gate to allow the public into their backyard.

Due to the foresight of the Paton family and the partnership of the American Bird Conservancy, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours and Tucson Audubon Society, along with thousands of generous supporters, this little piece of birding paradise has been saved in perpetuity.  It isn’t always the case that parcels of private property such as this are saved, but privately held land is playing an increasingly important role in the survival of the birds.  The United States is home to more than 800 species of birds – 30% of these are listed as endangered or threatened.  The greatest threat to the birds is the loss of habitat!   

Today, 60% of the land in the United States is privately owned and over 100 species of birds have 50% or more of their breeding distribution on private lands.  Government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in addition to non-profit agencies such as National Audubon and The Nature Conservancy, are working to conserve privately held land by offering assistance to landowners to promote bird conservation projects.  As a result, private landowners are contributing enormously to bird habitat conservation.  According to The State of the Birds 2013, Report on Private Lands, projects are underway demonstrating efforts on private lands do result in significant bird conservation - “private lands have critical conservation value, and landowners and managers can measure their yield not only in bushels and head and cords, but also in bluebirds, hawks and canvasbacks.”

Saving Paton’s Birder Haven in Patagonia, Az., was a major conservation effort on the part of several non-profits and thousands of individual supporters.  Thanks to this extraordinary partnership, there is at least one Hummer Haven that will be saved for future generations of bird watchers and naturalists. 

Tennessee State Parks To Host Public Input Hearing At Booker T. Washington State Park

Leaders from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will be conducting a public hearing at Booker T. Washington State Park on Thursday, Dec. 4, to gather public input and discuss the current business and management plan for the park.  The event will begin at  5:30 p.m.  with an open house reception to meet park staff and view exhibits. The ... (click for more)

SORBA Chattanooga Announces 2015 Race Series Schedule

SORBA (Southern Off-Road Biking Association) Chattanooga announced the Race Series schedule for 2015. Registration for all races opens on Dec. 1 . Pick Your Poison, a cross country race at Booker T. Washington State Park; Soul Sucker, which has a 25k and 50k option held at Raccoon Mountain; the Raccoon Mountain Super D, a downhill race; Night Shift, the six-hour twilight race ... (click for more)

10-Year-Old Boy Seriously Injured In Attack By Pit Bull At His Home In Sale Creek

A 10-year-old boy suffered serious injuries when he was attacked by a Pit Bull on Thanksgiving Day morning. At approximately 10:12 a.m. deputies were called to 175 Daugherty Ferry Road regarding  a report of a dog attack on a child.  On arrival the Sale Creek Fire Department found the child on the front porch of the residence.  The child’s father said ... (click for more)

Alecia Driggins Faces Multiple Charges After Robbery And Hit-And-Run In East Ridge

East Ridge Police arrived on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at the East Ridge Flea Market at 6725 Ringgold Road in response to a reported pedestrian struck and hit and run incident. Once on the scene, police determined that the incident was actually a robbery. The victim advised police that a white woman claiming to be a police officer grabbed her purse and attempted to flee ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful 2014

Over 40 years ago I was a young sports writer when I came up with the notion of setting daily things aside, just for one day, and writing about why “I Am Thankful.” Every Thanksgiving I come up with my list and it is as much about me as it is about my gratitude for all things great and small. I can’t imagine approaching this day in any other way. Here we go … I AM THANKFUL for ... (click for more)