|Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006|
The 1978 legislated boundary changed to include Tavasci Marsh and other lands within the monument boundaries. Yet it was 28 years later in December 2005 that the 324-acre marsh was acquired with a recent land exchange between Phelps Dodge Corporation (PD) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for mining purposes. The exchange proposal was made by PD in 1994 and finalized in 2005 when BLM completed the NEPA process. Among the many parcels in the exchange was Tavasci Marsh, which would be acquired by National Park Service (NPS).
The marsh fulfills the story about the daily lives of the Sinagua people living on the ridge above in Tuzigoot. Water irrigated fields. Plant materials were used for weaving, making utensils, and eating. Wildlife was food added to the stores. Tavasci Marsh is one of the largest marshes in Arizona. It has been proclaimed an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society and supports one of the most diverse bird gatherings in Arizona. There are several ?Species of Conservation Status? ? including the Least Bittern, Yuma Clapper Rail, and Common Black-Hawk along with the Bald Eagle and other species living within a riparian realm of cottonwood, marsh grass and mesquite.
On March 28, 2006 a ceremony will be held to transfer the title to the National Park Service. Among the participants are a representative of Congressman Rick Renzi, Governor Janet Napolitano, NPS Acting Deputy Regional Director Bill Wellman, BLM Arizona State Director Elaine Zielinski, President and Chief Operating Officer, Phelps Dodge Corporation Tim Snider, and Superintendent Kathy Davis.