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  • Senior planning manager named Natural Resource Professional of the Year

    Oct 07, 2013 | Read More News
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    Julia Fonseca, Senior Planning Manager for the Pima County Office of Sustainability and Conservation, has been named Natural Resource Professional of the Year by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.
    Julia Fonseca
    Fonseca “has quietly advanced conservation of wildlife and their habitats” for nearly 30 years – since beginning her career in the mid-1980s as a hydrologist in the Pima County Flood Control District, according to the award nomination submitted by Brian Powell, a program coordinator in the Office of Sustainability and Conservation.

    “Julia is very deserving of this award, as it reflects her professionalism and scientific approach to the protection of natural resources,” said County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry. “She always looks for facts to guide her decisions. I can think of no one more appropriate to receive this award.”

    Fonseca’s work has been instrumental in:
    • Securing the “Outstanding Arizona Waters” designation for segments of Cienega Creek and Davidson Canyon. The designation by the state Department of Environmental Quality provides additional water quality protections to those waterways.

    • The development and implementation of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP), which aims to direct growth and development away from areas with the highest natural, historic, and cultural resource values. Another key element of the SDCP has been the County’s purchase and lease of open space, and Fonseca has been involved in that process as well.

      “Never one to boast of her intellect or her vast knowledge of natural resources and the regulatory framework to bring about wildlife conservation, Julia consistently seeks to bring in new and novel tools to the conservation field,” Powell said in the nomination.

      “In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Julia was the primary County contact for … the team (that) developed the scientific and technical underpinnings of the award-winning Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and though members of the team received deserving accolades, Julia’s contributions are evident in every outcome. The results of her efforts – and that of the Team – have since made it into a wide range of County and State planning efforts.”

    • The County’s response to the proposed Rosemont mine. She has advocated for more information and transparency in the review process to ensure long-term protection for wildlife and their habitats in the Rosemont area.

    The Commission will present awards to Fonseca and 13 other recipients at its annual Commission Awards Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 11, in Carefree, Ariz. The awards, first given in 1991, recognize Arizonans who have contributed significantly to the conservation of the state’s wildlife, its outdoor heritage, and the mission of the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

    For more information, please visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department online. On the Archaeology Café  website, you can see Fonseca and Linda Mayro, Director of the Office of Sustainability and Conservation, giving a presentation about the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan in April.