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Sentenced to 6 mos. for tax fraud, ex-judge Keith Bee is 'indigent' but still owns $3 million in luxury homes

Keith Bee, a former Pima justice of the peace, was sentenced Wednesday to six months for filing a false tax return. Described as "indigent," Bee still has $3 million in luxury homes in his name, and statements made by his attorney indicate he may not have been legally eligible to serve on the bench.... Read more»

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Saguaro National Park to use seasonal herbicide against fire-prone buffelgrass

Starting next Tuesday, Saguaro National Park will begin spraying herbicide to limit the spread of invasive buffelgrass. No park closures are expected due to the seasonal work against the fire-prone plant.... Read more»2

Guest opinion

Biden's America the Beautiful Plan will help ensure national parks are protected, accessible

I served the National Park Service for 30 years and I have seen the impacts of climate change. From melting glaciers and dying trees, to rising tides and more intense wildfires, our national parks are on the front lines. At Saguaro National Park, near my home in Tucson, climate change has greatly impacted the establishment of new saguaros to replace older and dying ones.... Read more»

Officials: 'Recreate responsibly' outdoors over July 4 weekend

Pima County, the Forest Service and others are urging everyone to be safe during their July 4th celebrations, and take into account the active wildfire threat and COVID-19 pandemic. Most fireworks shows have been called off.... Read more»

#CoveringClimateNow

Despite climate threats, landscape may shelter some saguaros

A study of saguaros on Tucson's Tumamoc Hill using a half-century of data may help researchers understand how topography may help some of the Sonoran Desert's iconic giants endure a hotter, drier future. ... Read more»

500-acre prescribed burn set for Rincon Mountains

Smoke will be visible in the Rincons east of Tucson this week as more than 500 acres on Mica Mountain are set to be cleared with a prescribed fire, officials said.... Read more»

Senate OKS open-space bill, reviving Land and Water Conservation Fund

The U.S. Senate approved a sweeping public lands bill that will secure millions of dollars for Arizona's federally protected lands.... Read more»

How Arizona's national parks survived the longest gov't shutdown in U.S. history

With the help of volunteers and people coming together for a common purpose, two of Arizona's three national parks weathered the 35-day partial federal closure mostly none the worse for wear.... Read more»

Will Arizona’s saguaros survive drought, climate change?

The Sonoran Desert's famed cacti are struggling to cope with climate change and prolonged drought by reproducing less frequently. This worrisome downtick could signal the state’s saguaros are in decline.... Read more»

Century-old national park saguaro blasted with shotgun

A 100-150-year-old towering cactus in Saguaro National Park was recently shot up multiple times, and authorities are asking the public for help finding the vandal. The protected plant is not expected to survive. ... Read more»

Heat may have killed hiker found in Saguaro Nat'l Park

A hiker from Illinois was found dead on a trail near Tucson on Saturday, and authorities said the heat and dehydration may have been factors. ... Read more»

New citizens celebrate Independence Day at Saguaro National Park

For most, Independence Day is a time to gather with friends, grill hot dogs and watch fireworks blast through the sky. Monday at the Saguaro National Park, 20 new citizens celebrated not with firecrackers, but with hands proudly raised and an oath of allegiance to the United States.... Read more»1

White House, Congress feud over future of popular park-funding program

Both sides agree with the intent of the Land and Water Conservation Fund – to help acquire and improve federal and local park projects – but they disagree on how it should be implemented.... Read more»

National parks need $11.9 billion in maintenance, $580M in Arizona

Arizona parks and monuments had more than $580 million in deferred maintenance at the end of fiscal 2015, part of a national backlog totaling $11.9 billion, according to a National Park Service report. The backlog is up at both the state and national level at a time when parks are seeing increased numbers of visitors.... Read more»

Reward offered in slashing of 9 Tucson saguaros

Federal officials are offering a reward for information about the vandal who cut down iconic cacti in Saguaro National Park, and damaged other protected plants — including a saguaro that could be hundreds of years old. A young man was seen waving swords near the site, and likely injured himself, authorities said. ... Read more»

9 saguaros vandalized in Tucson national park

After several of Southern Arizona's iconic cacti, including one that could be hundreds of years old, were hacked apart this weekend, authorities are asking for the public's help in identifying the vandals. Two smaller plants in Saguaro National Park were chopped down, with others deeply slashed. ... Read more»1

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