For Immediate Release | January 26, 2017

Tucson, Ariz.  Tucson Electric Power (TEP) employee volunteers will help protect and preserve Sabino Canyon by removing buffelgrass on Sunday, Jan. 29 in support of the 10th annual Beat Back Buffelgrass Day.

A broad coalition of community and conservation groups organized events to remove buffelgrass across Southern Arizona. Events on Saturday, Jan. 21 were rescheduled due to weather.

Buffelgrass threatens to permanently change the Sonoran desert into a fire-prone grassland. Buffelgrass spreads aggressively by forming dense strands that crowd out native plants. It also provides fuel for wildfires that can kill saguaros and other desert plants and wildlife.

TEP is leading a community effort in partnership with the Southern Arizona Forest Fund on Sunday to remove this invasive species from select locations in lower Sabino Canyon. TEP employees will donate their time from 7 a.m. to noon to remove buffelgrass and offer information about its dangers to visitors of the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. The volunteer effort is one of 25 large community service events that TEP and its employees will join to celebrate the company’s 125th anniversary in 2017.

Members of the public are invited to participate in TEP’s buffelgrass effort. To sign up, visit pagregion.com/buffelgrass and select “Lower Sabino Canyon.” Volunteers should bring water, hats, layered clothing, sunscreen, boots or other sturdy close-toed shoes and snacks, and should arrive by 7:30 a.m. in the visitor overflow parking lot. TEP is one of several organizations sponsoring Beat Back Buffelgrass Day events.

TEP, which supports the management and eradication of buffelgrass throughout the year, actively removes buffelgrass from its substation facilities and rights-of-way.

TEP’s award-winning community service efforts include direct contributions, in-kind services and volunteer support for local nonprofit groups. TEP and its sister company, UniSource Energy Services, contributed about $1.8 million to charitable causes in 2016. Company employees also joined their friends and family to contribute nearly 20,000 volunteer hours to hundreds of nonprofit groups across Arizona.

TEP provides safe, reliable electric service to approximately 417,000 customers in southern Arizona. To learn more, visit tep.com. TEP, UES and their parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis Inc., which owns utilities that serve more than 3 million customers across Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean. To learn more, visit fortisinc.com.

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