Upper San Pedro River Basin Alternative Futures

The Upper San Pedro River Basin in southeastern Arizona is well known for its avian diversity; however, water use by Sierra Vista, Fort Huachuca, and agriculture in the basin threatens to lower its water table. This, in turn, could alter vegetation in the basin in a way that would negatively impact habitat currently supporting nesting of the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax trailii extimus) and foraging for a large number of resident and neotropical migratory birds during the breeding season and migration. We determined the range of potential Alternative Future growth patterns for the basin (Alternative Futures) and compared them for their relative impacts on a suite of environmental parameters including hydrology, biodiversity, and landscape vegetation pattern. The intent is to inform decision makers of which potential Alternative Future would have the greatest and least impacts on those parameters.

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