Oro Valley residents worry about litter in wildlife corridor

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) — Barbed wire, broken glass and other debris are piling up in an area where wildlife is common and it’s becoming an eyesore for some residents.

This takes place in the Wildlife Corridor near the Oro Valley Market off Tangerine.

Some locals worry that this trash could harm wildlife if caught in it, but Pima County says cleaning up the trash could cause even more problems.

“There are bobcats and javelins trotting around with their young and we don’t want them hurt by rusty barbed wire and tangles of old lifeline and those sharp, dangerous things,” said Oro Valley resident Dr. Amy Eisenberg.

Broken bottles, pieces of tires, and even rusty sheet metal are all things you’ll find in the wildlife corridor. Some of them are old and still from when this place was a dump, but some of them are from people dumping their trash now.

“The contemporary has no place here. If we remove these things, the native vegetation can regenerate and the animals will have a safe corridor along this market in the Oro Valley,” she said.

Dr. Eisenberg brought his concerns to Pima County. When they told her the area wouldn’t be cleaned, she voiced her concerns to KOLD. We spoke with the county about why there was no plan to pick up trash.

“If we were going to bring in those kinds of bigger pieces of equipment, the rear loaders, the scrapers, we would have to remove the infrastructure in order to get into the wash. We would potentially have to go around these trees. We would actually be doing more harm to the environment by picking up the trash than just leaving it,” said Joseph Cuffari, program manager for Pima County Regional Flood Control.

They will remove the big stuff, but the glass and debris will remain.

But is it a threat to the region’s wildlife?

The county brought in a research scientist who says litter can have many impacts on wildlife, but it depends on the litter.

“I think of all the threats they have to deal with, that wouldn’t be a huge concern to me. Maybe an individual animal might suffer a bit until the injury heals,” Matt Goode said. .

Although things like barbed wire and broken glass have the potential to harm passing wildlife, he thinks the animals will be able to avoid it for the most part.

For these smaller pieces of debris, the county hopes that during the monsoon they will dump into the trash catches they have. They say it will be the easiest and most environmentally friendly way to clean up a game.

Copyright 2022 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.

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