Soren tank is located along a 4 wheel drive Rd that winds through the Dragoon mountains. It is the old wood ranch and walnut grove of Thomas Soren. He was a citizen of note in Tombstone and married to Sarah Herring, the first women lawyer of Az.
This historic site is part of our grazing allotment in the Coronado forest. We have been working diligently for 11 years to repair and get water up there for wildlife and livestock. The next closest reliable water is 1 to 2 miles through rugged country.
We’ve replaced a windmill cylinder, sucker rod, and a solar pump at our own expense. Once installed those became the property of you, the US public. We’ve also replaced pipe from a mine. The US forest service installed a solar pump system when the windmill was damaged by wind and the non magnetic brand new cylinder ended up at the bottom of the well. They replaced it again when it was promptly stolen with a panel welded into a case on a 12 ft pole up on the side of the hill hidden from view.
The old concrete leaked badly and just three weeks ago we were able to spend two full, hard days sealing it with a special sealant (icky sticky epoxy requiring mixing and rapid painting). The sealant was purchased with a grant from Arizona game and fish because this water is important to wildlife, that means with yours and our tax dollars. It looks very promising. We hadn’t had a chance to see if it worked because a valve outside the tank needed repair from a stump growing in it.
Dear hubby spent a good day using chain saw, chisel and hammer working on stump. He broke a post on the saw even.
Today he went back up to attack the stump again after chain saw repair and shipping cattle, so it’s been two weeks.
Someone stole the panel, control box, wiring, and pump from the tank. They also opened the valve to the mine and emptied 9000 gallons of water stored in it. After 11 years and being that close to finally getting water back in this 30000 gallon tank you may imagine his mood.
Can we go fix it easy? What’s the big deal? Well the solar setup would be 1500 plus wether from us directly or shared. It is located in rugged country and takes 45 minutes just to get there in a polaris ranger.
To get a pipeline or other water system in, we will have to go through the NEPA (national environmental protection act) planning process with public input, which will take a minimum of a year. Plus, much of the time the only comments are from folks who have nothing better to do than complain about ranchers being lazy and entitled. Kinda ironic considering the very thing we’ve been trying to do is protect the environment.
Next time you’re out and about on public lands, please leave the gates the way you find them, don’t shoot at signs, windmills, water tanks, or leave water running. You’re stealing from yourself.