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Watchable Wildlife Working Group

Purpose  

The Watchable Wildlife Working Group has designed a Watchable Wildlife program that is integrated into the Arizona Watchable Wildlife Experience (AWWE) Peaks Tour, based in Flagstaff, AZ. 

The Verde Valley Tour aims to create and encourage public enjoyment and stewardship of a designated network of watchable wildlife sites along the Verde River and uplands. 

Current priority areas and ongoing efforts

Short-term priorities

Goal 1: Complete Strategic Planning with input and support from AWWE’s Peaks Tour collaborative:

-    Meet with AWWE collaborators from Flagstaff for information-sharing, network-building

-    Conduct initial public engagement to gather ideas on site development and programming

-    Inventory watchable wildlife sites for attributes including: accessibility, overall experience, and species diversity

-    Complete strategic plan document, including an Action Plan that identifies priority projects and funding needs

Goal 2: Create excitement and awareness for the Verde Valley Tour as a new AWWE Program:

   Develop Verde Valley Tour pages integrated with existing AWWE website

   Develop marketing materials and presentations, including logo and sign templates for sites.

   Raise awareness of AWWE-VVT within the Region, among partners and potential partners, and in the public.

Goal 3: Conduct strategic site improvements

   Install site identifier signs.

   Engage volunteer stewards in the labor and celebration of each site.

Goal 4: Secure Sustainable Funding:

   Investigate sustainable funding sources.

   Pursue grants to support AWWE products, site improvements, and capacity needs in support of the Action Plan (Goal 1).


Long-term priorities

Goal 1: Market and Outreach the Verde Valley Tour

   Share AWWE network contacts and mailing lists to get the word out.

   Expand and deepen network with local businesses, recreation providers, and decision-makers.

   Embrace established events (like the Verde Valley Birding Festival) as avenues to share AWWE messages

Goal 2: Develop Cohesive Interpretive Materials and Programs

   Infuse talks, tours, and events with AWWE branding.

   Develop additional and enhanced interpretive programs for the public (teachers, parents, and families).

Goal 3: Site Restoration and Stewardship

   Implement the Action Plan of priority projects.

   Collaborate with land managers to determine appropriate levels of development, design, and operational support.

Goal 5: Secure Sustainable Funding

   Build community business and organizational relationships to secure long-term funding.

   Investigate potential of establishing AWWE account within existing partner organizations.

   Secure sustainable funding sources to fund operation and programmatic costs associated with AWWE.

Participants  

Local government

Town of Camp Verde

Town of Clarkdale

Yavapai County

Agencies

US Forest Service 

Arizona Game and Fish

National Park Service

Arizona State Parks

Organizations

Friends of the Verde River 

American Rivers

The Nature Conservancy

Audubon Society

Business
            Salt River Project

Facilitation/Coordination - Southwest Decision Resources and Friends of Verde River
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