I would like to begin this month’s article by touching on what to expect at the River area this spring and summer. Although we no longer live in the houses at the river, the Salt River Police Department Rangers are still patrolling the River area and entire Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The SRPD Rangers will be conducting random spot checks for contraband at the Verde and Salt River area. Contraband includes alcohol, drugs and non-permitted firearms—these items are not permitted at the River area.
The south gate, sometimes called “the back gate,” will be locked on weekends from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. This is to direct the flow of all visitors through the north gate by the A-frame house (Ranger Station). If you come across the locked gate, you will need to go to the north gate off of Fort McDowell Road from State Route 87 (Beeline Highway).
Please be careful where you drive. The sand is extremely soft and can be quite deceiving. If you get stuck in the sand, walk to a safe place and contact SRPD Communications. The SRPD Rangers cannot guarantee a pull-out every time.
You will be responsible for the towing bill if a professional tow truck is needed.
Our Community is fortunate to have bald eagles residing and nesting at locations within our Community. These birds are of course sacred, rare, and fully protected by laws and “Nest Watchers” who are absolutely dedicated to ensuring the protection of these beautiful animals. The Community Nest Watchers have and will call SRPD if any activity caused by people disturbs the eagles’ nesting areas.
If you are caught disturbing a nest, the following charges can be filed:
• Federal laws: 18 USC 41, 16 USC 668 and A-D, and Tribal Code SRCO 5.5-111. Both Indian and non-Indian persons can be charged. The fines and/or jail time are very steep.
• For enrolled Native Americans, SRCO 6-111. This is a trespassing and wildlife law under Salt River Community Ordinance 18-46a/b.
• If the subjects are not enrolled in any Native American tribe, they will be prosecuted under Arizona Revised Statutes 17-303 and 17-452, and the United States Code.
Take Care of Your Dogs and Cats
The SRPD Rangers are currently trapping canines based on calls for service in response to “dog problem complaint areas.” Any dog without a collar and tag will go to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) on Eighth Street and Loop 101 Freeway in Mesa. Even if your dog has a collar with a tag, if the dog is loose and you cannot be reached, for the safety of the animal and the Community your dog will be taken to MCACC as well. I must remind you that the animal’s owners are responsible for all fees accrued at MCACC.
We encourage everyone to have their dogs and cats spayed or neutered to control the population of unwanted animals. Go online to http://adlaz.org/clinicmap or call (602) 265-7729 to contact the Animal Defense League of Arizona and they will give you the locations of clinics where you can have your pet spayed or neutered. The Arizona Humane Society will not come out to the Community, and thus we use MCACC or the Salt River Police Department for transport and housing of dogs.
Pet owners can get their dogs and cats current on their vaccinations and obtain licenses at the pet vaccination clinic, which will take place on April 28 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. to noon at the Lehi Community Building. For information, call Mike Campbell at (480) 362-7338.
If you have any questions or see any illegal activity, please feel free to contact us through SRPD Communications at (480) 850-9230.
A reminder: When you’re out and about on the Community, please remember to leave the outdoors cleaner than you found it. No matter what you enjoy doing outside, remember to lighten your footprint so these lands remain for future generations to enjoy. Thank you all for allowing me to serve this wonderful Community.