Oro Valley residents raise concerns over trash in wildlife corridor

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 7:27 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

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

This is happening in the wildlife corridor near the Oro Valley Marketplace off of Tangerine.

Some residents are concerned that this trash could harm wildlife if they get caught in it, but Pima County says cleaning up the trash could cause even more problems.

“There are bobcats and javelina trotting through with their young and we don’t want them to be injured by rusty barbed wire and tangles of old bailing wire and these sharp dangerous objects,” Oro Valley resident Dr. Amy Eisenberg said.

Broken bottles, parts of tires, even some rusty sheet metal are all things you’ll find in the wildlife corridor. Some of it is old and still left from when this spot was a dumping site, but some of it is from people dumping their trash now.

“Contemporary stuff has no place here. If we remove this stuff, the native vegetation may regenerate and animals will have a safe corridor alongside this Oro Valley Marketplace,” she said.

Dr. Eisenberg took her concerns to Pima County. When they told her the area wouldn’t be cleaned up, she brought her worries to KOLD. We spoke with the county about why there wasn’t a plan to get the trash picked up.

“If we were to bring in those bigger machinery types of equipment, the back loaders, the scrapers, we would have to remove infrastructure in order to get into the wash. We would potentially have to blade around these trees. We would actually do more of an environmental harm by picking up the trash than just leaving it,” said Joseph Cuffari, program manager for Pima County Regional Flood Control.

They will take away the big stuff, but the glass and debris will stay.

But is it a threat to wildlife in the area?

The county brought along a research scientist who says trash can have lots of impacts on wildlife, but it depends on the trash.

″I think of all the threats they have to deal with, it wouldn’t be a big concern of mine. Maybe that one individual animal might suffer a little while until the wound healed up,” Matt Goode said.

Though things like barbed wire and broken glass have the potential to injure wildlife passing through, he believes the animals will be able to avoid it for the most part.

For that smaller debris, the county is hoping that during monsoon it will flow into the trash captures they have. They say that will be the easiest and most environmentally friendly way to clean some of it up.

Copyright 2022 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.