Expanded and Enhanced Mountain Lines Newsmagazine
The official newsmagazine of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, Mountain Lines, re-launches today in a new and improved newsmagazine format. First published in 1994, Mountain Lines has shared the wide-ranging activities of Conservancy stewards and staff in meeting the Conservancy’s mission: to champion the sustainability of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve, and to connect the community to the Preserve through education, research, advocacy, partnership and safe respectful access.
Mountain Lines content covers activities of the Conservancy’s vital scientific Field Institute projects, as well as the many ways the staff and more than 650 active stewards support the City of Scottsdale in protecting and educating citizens and visitors about the Preserve. Stewards patrol and maintain Preserve trails and serve as citizen scientists to support scientific studies of Preserve flora, fauna and geology. They answer questions and suggest hikes for visitors at trailheads. They also teach community schoolchildren about the Preserve and its fascinating plants and wildlife through programs such as the Junior Citizen Science Festival and Nature Guides Program, and act as community ambassadors to share the unique story of the Preserve.
In this issue, you will read about the work the Conservancy is doing with citizen scientists to advance research on how non-native plants impact the native biodiversity in the Preserve, and to develop methods for protecting this resource. The Field Institute has launched this long-term research project because the Preserve is one of the most biologically diverse open-space areas in the region, home to over 378 plant species, 200 vertebrate animal species and countless invertebrates. It is also home to six animal species listed as Species of Concern by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
You will also learn about one of the great hikes in the Preserve – Tom’s Thumb trail. Tom’s Thumb is a prominent granite spire topping a high ridge in the central section of the Preserve, visible for miles around. Tom’s Thumb trail is an excellent cardio workout, a treat for hikers and photographers seeking stunning vistas, and a great hike for spotting a wide variety of higher-elevation Sonoran Desert plants and wildlife.
If you enjoy hiking with your dog, check out the very important article on safe hiking tips for your best friend. Each year, dogs are rescued from the Preserve because of overheating. This is a completely avoidable emergency if hikers are educated about how and when to safely hike with dogs. One tip: when the outdoor temperature reaches 90 degrees, it’s too hot to hike with your dog.
“I hope you find this new magazine an interesting and entertaining window into the work and impact of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy,” says executive director Mike Nolan.
To get your copy of Mountain Lines, stop by the Conservancy Office during business hours at 7729 E. Greenway Rd, Suite 100. Or, at the Preserve trailheads (Gateway, Lost Dog Wash, Brown’s Ranch and Tom’s Thumb) on weekends from 8:00am – 11:00am.