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On this day, President Bush signed the Arizona Desert Wilderness Act of 1990 into law, which established 38 new wilderness areas and expanded the Aravaipa Canyon wilderness.  The bill also established the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area featured here.

The 23,000-acre Gila Box Riparian NCA is truly an oasis in the desert. It has four perennial waterways - the Gila and San Francisco rivers and Bonita and Eagle creeks, which are the lifeline for this remarkable place. The Gila River canyon section, known as the Gila Box, is composed of patchy mesquite woodlands, mature cottonwoods, sandy beaches, and buff-colored cliffs. Bonita Creek, popular for birdwatching, hiking, and picnicking, is lined with large cottonwoods, sycamores, and willows. The perennial creek and riparian vegetation make this a cool year-round desert oasis.

Cliff dwellings, historic homesteads, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and over 200 species of birds make this year-round watery desert refuge worth the short drive from Safford, Arizona.

Photo by Bob Wick, BLM 

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Farmers brought flocks of sheep to the Eiffel Tower in protest against the government’s protection of wolves, complaining that they are kill too many animals.

Disgruntled farmers have brought their sheep to the Eiffel Tower to protest wolf attacks, and what they call the government’s anti-farmer environmental policies.

The woolly protesters munched grass near the Paris monument while their owners urged tougher measures against wolf attacks. The government says its existing plan on preventing attacks and compensating farmers is sufficient. Authorities also want to ensure protections for wolves.

The march Thursday came as President Francois Hollande spoke at an environmental meeting about plans for cleaner energy and France’s plans to host the U.N. Climate Change Conference next year.

Protester Franck Dieny said government policies – which include large subsidies to agriculture – are less and less farmer-friendly and “don’t recognize … the role we play maintaining the landscape” that so many visitors to France appreciate.

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