About Us

Founded in 2004, Friends of Sonoita Creek (FOSC) works to protect and restore
the water and natural habitat of Sonoita Creek and its watershed.



In 2004 Ron Hummel saw a need to establish a communication link between Patagonia Lake State Park and the community it served. He called a meeting of interested folks and during that meeting the Friends of Sonoita Creek (FOSC) was founded. The FOSC’s initial mission focused on the Sonoita Creek section below the dam and key issues that pertained to the Sonoita Creek Natural Area. It has since expanded to focus on the whole of the Sonoita Creek Watershed.

In 2006 FOSC Ron Hummel called a meeting of Stakeholders. They outlined the potential reduction or disappearance of the above ground flow of Sonoita Creek which supports the extraordinary biodiversity of the area. The preliminary report addressed the watershed, stream flow, water uses and rights and water budget. It concluded that there is much uncertainty about the future of surface water flows in Sonoita Creek. It notes that there had been very little investigation of the hydrology below the dam. Previous studies focused on the Town of Patagonia and The Nature Conservancy’s Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve sections of Sonoita Creek.

In May of 2017 a Sonoita Creek Watershed Plan was developed that addresses some of the preliminary findings in the 2006 report prepared by Ron Hummel and the  Stakeholders. → SonoitaCreek-WMP-5-12-17 (PDF)

2023 Board of Directors

Robert Proctor - President:   Robert is a descendant of a Pimeria Alta Pioneer family and now serves as Curator of the George Redondo Proctor Western Heritage Collection at Canoa Ranch and Patagonia Museum. He was a masonry contractor for 40 years: 15 years in New Mexico specializing in solar adobe construction and 24 years in Hawaiian custom homes. He is an expert in energy efficient Rumford fireplaces and masonry furnace combinations. He now serves as an advisory member of Community Water Coalition of Southern Arizona and is also our organizer for booth set-up and take down.

Dave Christiana - Secretary/Treasurer: Dave is a retired hydrogeologist now living at Lake Patagonia Ranch. He has 27 years experience in environmental consulting and government service. He retired from the Arizona Department of Water Resources where he worked in aquifer recharge, wells and permitting, and riparian conservation. He earned a Masters Degree in Hydrology from the University of Arizona and has had a special affinity for Sonoita Creek since he was a graduate student. Dave became a Friends of Sonoita Creek member in 2019, and joined the Board in 2020. He obtained training in Rapid Stream and Riparian Assessment with the Friends and has participated in assessments along Sonoita Creek upstream from Patagonia Lake State Park and at the Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve.

Kathy Pasierb - Recording Secretary & Advisor: Kathy moved to Patagonia in 1990.  She holds a B.S. in Ecology & Natural History/Biology from University of California-Santa Cruz . She has taught high school and middle school science in the  county public schools for 28 years.   Kathy is an avid birder and conservationist.  She designed and built her energy efficient straw bale home in 2000 where she currently resides.  Her landscaping features Arizona food plants, providing cover and water features for birds along with rain catchment systems throughout the yard. She was encouraged to join Friends in 2005 by founder, Ron Hummel.  She has served on the board for many years and is now an advisory member organizing and participating in research projects for the Sonoita Creek watershed.

John Hughes - Board Member: John has been visiting southwest Arizona since 1997 and moved to Patagonia full-time in 2018. He taught biology in Kalispell, MT for most of his career.  John loves all things nature and, along with his work with Friends of Sonoita Creek, volunteers with local groups including Borderlands Restoration Network’s plant propagation program, Tucson Audubon’s Paton Center for Hummingbirds and Patagonia Lake State Park.  He leads bird and plant walks.

Kerry Schwartz - Board Member: Kerry is a retired University of Arizona faculty member affiliated with Arizona Cooperative Extension and the Water Resources Research Center. She directed the grant funded Arizona Project WET water education program for 22 years. With a master’s degree in geohydrology and 8 years of experience in environmental consulting, Kerry brings a deep understanding of water resources and experience working in the field to the Board. Currently, she’s interested in community engagement and sound environmental decision making. Kerry loves living in Patagonia … stepping out her door at the new Sanctuary at Sonoita Creek Campground to enjoy this amazing place.

Alex Johnson - Board Member and Volunteer Coordinator:

Howard Buchanan - Advisor: Tucson Audubon Sonoita Creek Watershed Specialist