Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Arizona's #1 Lucifer Hummingbird Spot Closing Because of Bad Neighbor?

Hi All,

Please read this open letter from my friend Mary Jo. Her feeders have had the most reliable Lucifer Hummingbirds in the history of Arizona birding. She also hosed the first ever Plain-capped Starthroat to return two years in a row, probably the most-seen individual of that species in the history of birding. She's done a lot to put the Hereford area on the birding map.

Following Mary Jo's plea is the letter I wrote in support when she was first having to apply for the special use permit that she was required to get as a result of the first complaint by the neighbor.

From: Mary Jo Ballator
Potential Closure of Ash Canyon B&B Feeding Station

Dear Birders,

Due to a  neighborhood dispute regarding public access over a private road easement, there is a very real possibility that I may have to close my property to birders after nine years of continuous operation with no complaints or opposition.

I have already asked for support from a few of you, and I am very grateful for having received that support.

The opposition has continued to escalate, however, and I am now asking for help from the extended birding community, both with e-mailing letters of support and attendance at the upcoming hearing on April 12 at 10:00 a.m. in Bisbee.  I have been advised to get as many people as possible to show up at the hearing and to speak on behalf of keeping this bird feeding station open.  If you wish to see this place continue, *now* is the critical time to act.

I am hopeful that an overwhelming show of support from the birding community will go a long way toward convincing the Board of Supervisors that my feeding station is a community resource that serves many people even beyond the birding community and helps to generate a sustainable economic base for Cochise County, as well as serving the birds of these Sky Islands and beyond.

Please email 2mjb@mindspring.com if you require additional information, or if you can help.

Letters (via e-mail) should contain a reference to Ash Canyon B&B and my parcel number 104-21-022, and should be written by Friday April 1, as they need time to be compiled and submitted to the decision makers well in advance of the meeting.  Please send me a copy, because some previous letters of support evidently got lost in the ether. Send e-mail to  Mr. Keith Dennis, kdennis@cochise.az.gov with a CC to me, 2mjb@mindspring.com.

Attend the Board of Supervisors meeting and sign up to speak at the meeting.  Get there a few minutes early so you can fill out a form to speak, briefly, at the meeting.

Board of Supervisors Meeting time/location:

Tuesday, April 12, 10:00 a.m.
1415 Melody Lane
Board of Supervisor Room, Building G
Bisbee, AZ  85603

Thank you for your continued support and consideration.


Mary Jo

Mary Jo Ballator, Host
Ash Canyon Bed & Breakfast
5255 E. Spring Road
Hereford, AZ  85615

Here's a copy of the letter I wrote when this issue first came up 3 months ago.

            January 4, 2010

Mr. Keith Dennis
Cochise County Planning & Zoning Commission
1415 Melody Lane
Bisbee, AZ  85603

Dear Mr. Dennis,

I am writing in support of Mary Jo Ballator's application for a special use permit for the Ash Canyon B&B on parcel 104-21-022. I have been there many times as a private individual as well as a tour leader guiding birders visiting Arizona. The very presence of feeding stations that host range-restricted bird species, such as that at Ash Canyon B&B, are a major draw for birders and ecotourists to Southeast Arizona. The Ash Canyon B&B is a requisite stop on any birding route in SE Arizona, and is presence is certainly a consideration when I make decisions on whether to visit the Hereford area or other parts of southern Arizona or give recommendations to birders who ask for my advice.


           Richard C. Hoyer


  1. From what I understand the nature of the dispute is that one of the residents along the private road to the B & B is disgruntled that he has to share it with visiting birders and would prefer to have it all to himself. And his house isn't even on the part where vehicles have to pass his house.

    To repeat from Mary Jo's letter:

    "Please email 2mjb@mindspring.com if you require additional information, or if you can help."

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.