Return to Land & Water Conservation

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1. Identify Priorities

In 2001, Arizona Land and Water Trust received a two-year grant to identify habitat conservation priorities in eastern Pima County. The Trust partnered with The Nature Conservancy in Arizona to create the plan – Habitat Protection Priorities for Eastern Pima County. During the course of our work, we solicited input from community stakeholders and completed the plan in April of 2003. The plan calls for the protection of our community’s richest biological resources on both private and state land by working with willing sellers.

2. Gather Support
Funding to acquire the conservation priorities will come from public finance mechanisms, private donations and matching funds programs through state and federal agencies. The public finance mechanism we are using to protect these priorities is the May 2004 Pima County General Obligation Bond of $174.3 million for open space and habitat conservation. The Trust partnered with other conservation organizations to successfully campaign for the open space bond. Overwhelming voter support for the open space bond measure was evident by the 67% voter approval.

3. Implementation
Arizona Land and Water Trust is partnering with Pima County to use open space bonds to protect our conservation priorities in perpetuity. The Trust assists in the implementation of the open space program by conducting outreach with willing sellers and the willing conservation buyer. In the first year of the open space bond program. the Trust assisted Pima County in acquiring 10,395 acres with open space bonds.

Conservation Buyer
The Trust connects conservation buyers with properties supporting significant ecological, historic, cultural and open space values. Conservation buyers are people who support our mission to protect Southern Arizona’s western landscapes and wildlife habitat by acquiring and managing properties with conservation values. Conservation buyers are either interested in buying land encumbered by a conservation easement or donate a conservation easement on their purchase to permanently protect a property’s conservation values and restrict its development potential.

Contact us if you are interested in purchasing property with the intent of protecting its natural values in perpetuity. For more information about our conservation planning & services, or how we can assist in the protection of open space and wildlife habitat, please contact Liz Petterson, Executive Director, at (520) 577-8564 or