I just received word that the land along Sun Valley Parkway, west of the White Tank Mountains in central Arizona is now scheduled for development. The area is a vast expanse of open desert land in central Arizona west of Phoenix. The road, Sun Valley Parkway was a favorite local herping spot for Phoenix residents for years. It is now being developed with new subdivisions and thousands of new homes.
I personally have always avoided the area since I knew that this would inevitably happen. The White Tank Mountains will now be completely surrounded by development and the habitat will be lost.
The area was home to many desert reptiles including Gila Monsters, Desert Tortoises, California Kingsnakes, and many others. All of these reptiles and other plants and wildlife will be gone.
This reminds me of another issue. Why doesn’t the Arizona Game and Fish Department do something about this? While they cannot do anything to stop the developement, they could at least make some use of this situation. Gila Monsters and Desert Tortoises are both protected in the state of Arizona. You cannot legally collect these animals from the wild. They are thought by some to be in danger of over collection and have been protected from take by the Arizona Game and Fish for quite some time. Why can’t these animals that are certainly facing extermination be collected by Arizona residents? Why is there no special procedure or permit to allow for this? If these animals are so endangered, why not allow animals from this population whose days are numbered to be legally collected by those who care about these animals and would like to be able to legally possess them?
Hopefully wildlife laws will someday make sense and actually serve both humans and wildlife both. I wish there were something that could be done. I apologize in advance for such a sad post to this blog.