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Robert Witzeman

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Contact Information
Email:  
Address:

4619 E. Arcadia Lane
Phoenix, AZ 85018

Phone: 602 840-0052
Fax: 602 840-3001

Websites

 

Profession or Area of Expertise

Retired anesthesiologist, Conservation Chair Maricopa Audubon, SW wildlife conservation issues

Personal Statement

Bob Witzeman arrived in Arizona from Ohio in 1958.  He has continuously birdwatched throughout Arizona since then.  In the process he has witnessed monumental riparian destruction, soil erosion, gully washing, desertification, and forest crown fires attributable to livestock abuse of our public lands.

  The state’s cottonwood/willow riparian habitat has been 99% destroyed by cattle or by dams which, for the most part, provided water for cattle forage or feed. Livestock have consumed the riparian saplings and seedlings as if they were ice cream here.  There has been little recruitment of the cottonwood/willow vegetation and other native plant species. 

  Some riparian areas are now being fenced as a result of efforts to save threatened species and their habitats.  But the resulting transfer of cattle impacts to upland landscapes has been associated with downstream flooding, upstream soil erosion and impediments to both upland and downstream groundwater recharge. Retirement/buy-out of the allotments on public lands offers some hope in resolving this devastation of Arizona and the West.

 

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