Monday, September 30, 2013

Coconino Community College Seeks Override with Chamber Support

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Coconino Community College will host a series of informational Open Houses throughout Coconino County, designed to answer questions about the College's finances and upcoming override initiative on the Nov. 5 election ballot.

"The Open House is an opportunity for community members to learn more about the College's finances and how we are proposing resolving projected budget shortfall of the near future," said CCC President Dr. Leah L. Bornstein.

The community wide Open Houses are scheduled from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Tuba City, Flagstaff, Page and Williams.

Thursday, Oct. 10, Tuba City, Tuba City Chapter House, 220 S. Main St.  

Wednesday, Oct. 16, Flagstaff, Flagstaff High School commons, 400 W. Elm Ave.  

Tuesday, Oct. 22, Page, Page Public Library, 479 S. Lake Powell Blvd.

Thursday, Oct. 24, Williams, Williams High School Annex, 636 S. 7th St.

Wednesday, Oct. 30, Flagstaff, Coconino High School, Room 204, 2801 S. Izabel St.

The CCC Open House presentations are formatted to provide information to the public on the College's financial situation, not to advocate for a property tax increase.
CCC's three core missions are:
1. Provide Arts and Science courses for transfer and transition, including successful program such as High School to CCC programs and CCC2NAU transition program.
2. Provide career and technical education. Did you know that CCC provides training and education to 51 percent of Coconino County firefighters, 43 percent of criminal justice professionals and 42 percent of nurses and paramedics?
3. Provide workforce training that assist in keeping jobs in Coconino County through business and employee training, customized curricula and partnerships.

Fall 2013 Prescribed Burning in Flagstaff Area

Flagstaff, AZ  Coconino National Forest fire managers are preparing for fall season prescribed burning as fall conditions create opportunities for applying low-intensity fire to the landscape.
Up to 11,200 acres of prescribed fire treatments are tentatively planned across the forest this season. Acreages are estimates and tentative, depending on how often and how long conditions are suitable. The chart below lists the areas and project names.
The forest depends on low-intensity fire to reduce accumulated vegetation, enhance wildlife habitat, and recycle valuable nutrients into the soil. “Fire is a natural part of this ecosystem,” said Vic Morfin, Coconino National Forest Fuels Management Officer. “It reduces the likelihood of severe fire behavior, creating safer conditions for the community and firefighters.
Prescribed burns are termed such because they are conducted within a “prescription” that defines the fuel moisture levels, air temperatures, wind conditions, and relative humidity levels that are appropriate for each project. 
All prescribed fire activity is dependent on personnel availability, fuel conditions, weather – including ventilation conditions, and approval from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)
Prescribed broadcast burns involve applying fire across the forest floor. Small flames make their way along the surface, consuming logs, branches, and accumulated leaves and needles while recycling nutrients back into the soil. “Smoke is usually noticeable. It can be a nuisance, but it’s an unwanted necessary byproduct.” said Morfin, “We work hard to ensure smoke impacts are minimal.”
Fire managers strive to minimize smoke impacts to the community by working closely with ADEQ, partners in the Ponderosa Fire Advisory Council, as well as neighboring forests to monitor air quality. In addition, fire managers try to burn when winds and other atmospheric conditions will push the majority of smoke away from homes, and try to burn larger sections at a time to ultimately limit the number of days smoke is in the air.

Regular news releases will be distributed with planned prescribed fire activity. The public can register to receive these email notifications by choosing “Southwestern Region” at Information can also be obtained via the Prescribed Fire Hotline: 928-226-4607, our website, and Twitter at

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Southern White Rhino "Jericho" Arrives at Out of Africa Wildlife Park

Animal care staff at Out of Africa Wildlife Park welcomed a new resident September 5th – Jericho, an 18-year-old male southern white rhino. Jericho traveled via semi-trailer truck from Busch Gardens Tampa, FL. This 4,800-lb giant journeyed 2,100 miles in a climate-controlled transporter before arriving safely at his new 6-acre habitat. He is now settling into his new environment, six times larger than his previous domicile.  

 “Jericho’s arrival helps to fill a void that has existed since Boom Boom, the park’s first rhino, passed away of old age on March 22, 2012,” said Courtney Palmer, who heads the Serengeti department in charge of Jericho. Courtney spearheaded the efforts to find the southern white rhino. “It was a huge goal of ours to find a rhino to befriend and educate park visitors. After 18 months of hard work, he is finally here!”

Jericho’s heritage was unknown, so Busch Gardens was unable to continue to house him as part of their species survival plan. It is because of this that they were willing to let Jericho relocate to Out of Africa. “He comes to carry on the beloved legacy of Boom Boom,” said park owner Dean Harrison. “Jericho is adjusting nicely to his new rhino digs, and he’s available for everyone to see and enjoy.”

Jericho is currently in a quarantined section of his new habitat while being cared for by keepers, nutritionists, and veterinarians per standard procedure.  He is still visible to park visitors, but at a distance. Keepers have been providing mental and physical stimulation with a variety of enrichment tools to help Jericho acclimate to new sights, smells, and sounds.  He is being monitored to determine the appropriate time to expose him to the rest of his habitat. “We are confident Jericho will be wandering his new domain in the next day or so, but this is not something you rush,” said Lauren Nichols, assistant manager of the Serengeti department. “He’ll let us know when he’s ready.”

Park visitors will be able to see Jericho in his new habitat in time for the fall break rush.  For years to come Jericho will be an ambassador for the approximately 20,000 southern white rhinos that remain in the southern African continent today, helping to educate the public of this majestic creature that was at one time on the verge of extinction. You can learn more about Jericho on the park website.

About Out of Africa Wildlife Park 

Since 1988 Out of Africa Wildlife Park has been dedicated to promoting the discovery and appreciation of wildlife for all ages; creating an experience steeped in fun, immersed in learning, and inspired by the living and colorful world of astonishing wildlife. Showcasing exotic animals from around the world, the 104-acre Park provides its visitors a unique and interactive way to see and experience beautiful creatures and their natural behavior up-close, supporting and promoting conservation awareness and action, practicing exemplary animal care, providing education and learning experiences, and establishing broad community support, through a peaceful and interactive relationship with our animal friends who touch all of our hearts.

Out of Africa Wildlife Park is located 3 miles west of I-17 on SR-260, or at 3505 Camp Verde Bridgeport Highway (SR-260), Camp Verde, AZ  86322. Only 45 minutes north of Anthem, 30 minutes south of Sedona, the Park is open year-round, seven days a week, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the exceptions of Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is free. For more information call 928-567-2842 or visit Also find us on Facebook and Twitter.