It's too late to save the fragile Sonoran Desert in Phoenix. But it's not too late to preserve what's left of it. Spend a few hours at the Desert Botanical Garden, and you'll know the desert is worth protecting.
First step? The city must figure out the exact boundaries of its mountain preserves. No, that task has not been done.
Next? Fence or otherwise mark off those boundaries to protect the desert from creeping development. Immediately implement the master plan for protecting South Mountain Park. Mark the trails to keep hikers from loving the desert to death--as they have done with the crumbling Squaw Peak trail.
Next? Hire more rangers so we can start nighttime protection of the preserves. Step up enforcement and fines against off-road vehicles who go off-limits.
Next? Teach your children about saguaros and other desert denizens, so the next generation will do a better job than we've done of loving--and respecting--the desert's harsh beauty.