Click on a pin on the map to see more information. "We try to keep some of that theft down by implementing laws.". Answer. The USFWS asked the USGS to evaluate the survival of the Pima pineapple cactus … The term of imprisonment for a class four felony sentences ranges from one year to 3.75 years for first-time felony offenders, according to statute 13-702 of the criminal code. Some saguaros are cristate or "crested" due to fasciation. "Our desert is not as tough as it looks," she said. Arizona, it is unlawful to possess, kill, harass, hunt, or handle, wildlife that is protected by state or federal law without proper permits (ARS Title 17). Cacti also make excellent container plants. These plants have a lifespan that is estimated to be from 150 years to 200 years if they aren’t cut down and if they have the right conditions. Most of the desert plants fall into one of five groups specially protected from theft, vandalism or unnecessary destruction by Arizona's Native Plant Law. A well-grown cactus lights up the landscape, with interesting form, spination and showy flowers. Despite their capacity for desert survival, populations of the acuña cactus are disappearing. Arizona is the home to at least 10 cacti that are listed as endangered, threatened, or under conservation agreement. Public domain. While a class four felony is a serious offense, it does not carry a prison sentence anywhere close to the 25 years the rumored law enforced. The most serious crime dealing with native plants, like cacti, is a class four felony. Chancey said cactus theft is more common than people realize. Listed here are some of the native southeastern Arizona wildflowers and plants that are legally protected in the state of Arizona. Also, all land in the state is owned by somebody whether it is federal, state, tribal, or private. Nowhere in the United States are there more rare and unusual native plants than in Arizona. The iconic saguaro cactus, the largest cactus in the United States and the second-largest cactus in the world, is a staple of the American Southwest and an unmistakable feature of life in the East Valley.Measuring from 20 to 40 feet tall, and up to 70 feet tall in some cases, the saguaro cactus is a giant amongst the smaller desert trees and plants that grow in Arizona. (Credit: Chris Jarchow, USGS. As a result of extra regulation, … The saguaro cactus is protected, which means that you just can't go out into the desert and dig one up. Golden hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus nicholii) occurs in northern Mexico and southern Arizona, primarily within Pima County. Barrel cactus usually grow along desert washes, gravely slopes and beneath desert canyon walls in all of the hot desert of North America from the Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts of southern California, southern Arizona west to Texas and south into Baja, California and central Mexico. By. The USFWS asked the USGS to evaluate the survival of the Pima pineapple cactus after fire and when protective clearing of vegetation was applied around each cactus before the fire. "We're just here to help protect it.". Wiki User Answered . Protected Arizona Native Plants. This type of cacti is native to the Sonora Desert and the Imperial County of California in the Whipple Mountains. "It's stealing.". Saguaros, like many other native Arizona plants, are protected by state law. The wash drains northwest-west into the Colorado River. The saguaro cactus is a protected species in Arizona, which means it is illegal to destroy or damage them. They don’t just look impressive, they really are. The plants are found primarily in Arizona today. The cactus can be found on gravel ridges and knolls in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Nonnative lovegrass dominates and small mesquite trees have expanded into the grassland, and the Baboquivari Mountains are in the background (November 2014). Other violations related to the theft, misuse of permits, or improper collection, salvage, harvest, transportation or possession of designated protected native plants result in punishments ranging from a class five felony to a class three misdemeanor, according to 3-932. April 25, 2016. Theft of protected native plants from private, state, or federal lands may result in a felony charge, as well as native plant law violation. It is adjacent to Bouse Wash, which is on the south. Some say that this cactus can grow up to 23 feet tall, featuring some prominent slender, curving stems that resemble the pipes of an old-fashioned organ. A. ©2010 Chevas Samuels, McKenzie Manning, Stephanie Snyder, Safety of native plants protected under Arizona law, Salvage Restricted Protected Native Plants. Again, cactus skeletons (or any dead plant or plant parts) are not protected under the Arizona native plant law. These are the tall and skinny cactuses that you may think of, when you think of the word “cactus”. Many people desire to use these "wonders of nature" in their landscaping. SBSC scientists are conducting studies on two endangered cacti: the Arizona hedgehog cactus and the Pima pineapple cactus. The "Native Plants" chapter of the statutes regarding agriculture protects groups of plants including species of cacti, from being destroyed, removed or stolen. Opuntia martiniana, seashore cactus (AZ, UT) Opuntia pinkavae, Pinkava's prickly pear (AZ, UT) Pediocactus paradinei, Kaibab pincushion cactus (AZ) Pediocactus peeblesianus, Navajo pincushion cactus (AZ) Pediocactus sileri, Siler's pincushion cactus (AZ, UT) Sclerocactus papyracanthus, paperspine fishhook cactus (AZ, NM) Bill "Doc" Talboys, a park ranger for White Tank Mountain Regional Park, discusses the importance of protecting Arizona's native plants. on. 3 4 5. Cactus wrangling or cactus poaching, involves “illegal take,” which is the harvest of native flora or fauna without the proper permits. Top Answer. The USFWS has sought USGS help in evaluating the sufficiency of existing monitoring data toward providing a comprehensive view of the status and health of the Arizona hedgehog cactus. PHOENIX - Several websites dedicated to describing strange and archaic laws in Arizona list a state law that states there is a possible 25-year prison sentence for cutting down a cactus, however this is simply not true. Within the cactus’ habitat native grasslands have been invaded by non-native grasslands and range expansion of mesquite. It has become a symbol of the Southwest, with almost any image of the Southwest containing one or more saguaro cactus. Except as provided in this chapter a person shall not take, transport or possess any protected native plant taken from the original growing site in this state without possessing a valid permit issued by the division. Even on private property, you really don't own the cactus. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (OPCNM) lost 95 percent of its acuña cactus population across 1,000 acres of habitat between 1991 and 2010. Go on the hiking trails in Arizona, and you begin to realize that they have a personality of their own. The saguaro blossom is the state wildflower of Arizona. Arizona Saguaro Cactus Facts That Show Why They Are The Coolest Cacti. Dozens of Arizona’s cactus are being illegally dug up and sold online. Land use and management activities that occur on federal, and to some extent state, lands on which the cacti occur require consultation among the U.S. While this may have been a law at some point in Arizona's history, there is no current evidence in the Arizona Revised Statutes that connects the destruction of a cactus with a maximum imprisonment of 25 years, according to officials at the chief clerk's office for the Arizona House of Representatives. Prescribed fire is a management tool that ranchers and wildlife refuge managers want to use to manage rangeland health. They begin to feel like familiar friends accompanying you along your hiking adventure. "Stop decorating saguaros," he wrote. ), Semi-desert grasslands of the Altar Valley in south-central Arizona, which is the habitat of the Pima pineapple cactus. Author: Bianca Buono Published: 11:14 PM MST December 8, 2020 Saguaros, which are found exclusively in the Sonoran Desert, are a protected plant under the Native Plant Protection Act. Federal laws like the ESA are overseen by the U.S. Within the cactus’ habitat native grasslands have been invaded by non-native grasslands and range expansion of mesquite. Geography. 2005 Arizona Revised Statutes - Revised Statutes §3-906 Collection and salvage of protected plants; procedures, permits, tags and seals; duration; exception . We know how to safely and promptly remove saguaros in accordance with the law. Some of the other class four felonies listed in the state criminal code include negligent homicide, kidnapping, arson, credit card forgery and prostituting a minor. The reason this law stands is because the saguaro cactus, prevalent in Arizona, takes an incredibly long time to grow. It is … There is a protected area in Arizona that features […] Below are partners associated with this project. These protected plants may be threatened or endangered and are highly safeguarded, salvage assessed, and/or salvage restricted. (Credit: Chris Jarchow, USGS. "If you're out there four-wheel driving and deliberately or by mistake hit a cactus and knock it down and it's witnessed, then you get turned in and you could be fined for it," she said. Even though the law does not actually exist, various Arizona native plants are protected under state law. TUCSON, AZ — Park rangers are searching for suspects after eight protected saguaro cacti were found chopped or cut down at Saguaro National Park … Its scientific name is given in honor of Andrew Carnegie. 1) The Saguaro Cactus is Only Found in the Sonoran Desert Flickr User Rob Overcash. 2014-06-04 13:51:00 2014-06-04 13:51:00. The Arizona hedgehog cactus grows in rugged shrubland country in central Arizona where the lower deserts transition to higher plateaus. Most of them are many years old and cannot be replaced. Other threats to the saguaro include vandalism, attempted transplant or theft of the cactus. Published. Organ Pipe Cactus is the second-largest columnar cactus in the United States. Many thieves coming over from Europe or Asia. Likewise, is the saguaro cactus protected? USGS scientists are often asked to provide scientific input to the USFWS and/or the managing agency to help guide their consultation on proposed actions or to provide up-to-date data on the health of the cactus populations. Should I Protect My Cactus From the Frost?. Safety of native plants protected under Arizona law While damaging a cactus in Arizona will not warrant the rumored possibility of 25 years in prison, it is still considered a class four felony. Public domain.). The Pima pineapple cactus occurs in desert grasslands and transitional shrublands mainly in south-central Arizona. 5 years ago. The symbol of Arizona is the saguaro cactus. Hands off the cactuses Protected symbol: The cactus, particularly the majestic saguaro, has long been a symbol of the West. "They are a protected cactus under Arizona law. Threats to the Saguaro The saguaro is a long-lived cactus, most affected by long-term climate cycles of frost and drought. Is cactus a protected native plant of Arizona? 'We have to be cautious,' | Doctors warn Texas is on track for a second wave of COVID-19 These protected plants may not be removed from any lands, whether private or public, without the permission of the land owner and a permit from the Arizona Department of AZ1506 January 2010 Kim McReynolds Agriculture. Pima pineapple cactus and vegetative offshoot, commonly called a pup, in the Altar Valley of south-central Arizona (November 2014). Saguaro Cactus is a cactus that usually grows into a tall, tree-like structure. Cheyenne Reed. Agave chrysantha – Goldenflower Century Plant Agave palmeri – Palmer's Century Plant Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the agency managing the land on which the cacti is growing, and the party proposing an activity on that land, if not the managing agency. The maximum punishment associated with the destruction of native plants is a class four felony, according to 3-932 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. Protected areas. In 1994, Saguaro National Park, near Tucson, Arizona, was designated to help protect this species and its habitat. The saguaro is one of many plants in Arizona protected by the Native Plant Protection Act, and within national park lands, the removal of any plant is illegal. These saguaro cactus facts will definitely make that happen. It is important for there to be laws that protect Arizona's native plants because the state's plant life deserves to be respected, Chancey said. Though cactus theft seems minor to some, Chancey said the delicacy of the desert warrants the punishment of destroying it. Some of the instigators just have a warped disrespect for things of the wild and get a kick out of yanking hundreds of years of plant life out of the ground. Is it illegal to pick wildflowers in Arizona? "There's a lot of money in cactuses, what people pay to have planted in their yard, and a lot of people go out to the desert and steal them off state trust land ... let alone private land like your property and my property, and then they sell them," Chancey said.