Home Archived May 12, 2018

USGS NRP Tucson: Landscape Change in the Southwest

Changes in Riparian Vegetation in Arizona

San Pedro River at Charleston (09471000), July 29, 2000 (b)

 Image of San Pedro River at Charleston (09471000), July 29, 2000.
Dominic Oldershaw, Stake 293 Cottonwoods block any view of the channel at this site. In the last 50 years, riparian vegetation along the San Pedro River has become extremely dense and is a magnet for neotropical species, particularly birds but also animals. As a result, this vegetation corridor is highly valued by the Bureau of Land Management, and the area has been converted into the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Many of the camera stations for the two gaging stations in this reach---at Palominas and at Charleston---are blocked by riparian vegetation, which is significant because the original photographs were taken to document channel conditions as part of gaging station operation and as such allowed unobstructed views of the river bed and flood plain.

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