Successful auctions add 6,400 acres to Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Nov. 21, 2012
Contact: Mike Phillips, public affairs manager, 480-312-7825
Successful auctions add 6,400 acres
to Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve
The city of Scottsdale acquired 6,400 acres of land for the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve at three state land auctions today (Nov. 21) in which the city was the only bidder.
The city’s combined successful bids totaled $88.2 million – approximately $16 million of that will come from a Growing Smarter State Trust Land Acquisition Grant approved by the Arizona State Parks Board in September. The remainder of the purchase price will come from money generated by two dedicated sales taxes approved by Scottsdale voters in 1995 and 2004. The use of state grant funding frees additional dollars to be used on future purchases.
“This week marks a major accomplishment for Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve,” said Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane. “With these three auctions, we have combined our citizen-approved dedicated sales tax dollars with $16 million in state grant money to add 10 square miles to the preserve. Those 27,800 acres now connect to the Tonto National Forest – a milestone ensuring a sustainable wildlife population in our preserve.
“By leveraging state grant funds over the last four years we have been able to save the city more than $78 million while extending the purchasing power of local sales taxes dedicated to expanding the preserve.”
With today’s acquisition, Scottsdale’s mountain preserve encompasses approximately 27,800 contiguous acres – more than 43 square miles. That is over 81 percent of the long-range goal to preserve about 34,000 acres, nearly a third of the city’s land area. Preserving these lands achieves a primary goal to establish an important wildlife corridor connection to the nearly three million acres of Tonto National Forest.
The preserve land acquired today includes the majority of Cholla and Granite mountains and extensive areas of exposed bedrock, boulder outcrops, lush upper Sonoran Desert vegetation including Rawhide Wash and a number of other large washes housing abundant wildlife.
The lands generally are located north of the Ashler Hills Drive alignment, south of the Stagecoach Pass alignment, east of the 100th street alignment and west of 136th street. It is within a “recommended study boundary” that includes all of the land targeted to be part of the preserve, permanently protecting the acreage from development.