We need speakers at upcoming Pima County Bond Advisory Committee (BAC) meetings.
The Conservation Acquisition Commission (CAC) has recommended to the bond committee that $285 million for open space be placed on the November 2010 ballot. County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry has also provided the committee with a recommendation, which is only about 1/3 that amount! He has also indicated in a recent memo that he does not believe open space should be a priority for the next bond election. The BAC will be considering both of those recommendation, as well as listening to members of the public, over the next few months.
THE COALITION SUPPORTS THE CONSERVATION ACQUISITION COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION OF $285 MILLION
As you know, open space bond funding is critical to the success of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan — protecting core habitat, riparian areas, and wildlife habitat connectivity. And we have so much more to protect!
Here are dates and locations of upcoming meetings. Please consider attending the meetings and speaking (call to the audience is at the beginning of the meeting):
Pima County Bond Advisory Committee Public Hearings
Friday, November 20 2009 ** 8:00 A.M.
The Manning House
450 West Paseo Redondo (1 block north of Alameda; 1 block west of Grande)
Friday, December 11, 2009 ** 8:00 A.M.
Randolph Golf Course Club House Copper Room
600 South Alvernon Way (between Broadway and 22nd St)
Alternatively, you and / or your organization, business or neighborhood association can submit comments to the following:
Mr. Larry Hecker, Chair
Pima County Bond Advisory Committee
130 W. Congress, 10th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701
ATTN: Diana Durazo
BOND ADVISORY COMMITTEE TALKING POINTS
*Fully fund the Open Space Program by allocating the requested $285 MILLION
* In 2004, the Open Space ballot measure (Question 1), received over 66% voter support, more than any of the other general obligation bond questions. Clearly, the residents of Pima County strongly support Open Space.
* The Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan needs to be fully funded. Acquisition of key habitat lands will be accomplished over time. And the sooner we buy these important lands, the less it will cost. This includes close to a half million acres of State Trust Lands!
* We have the opportunity now, as we did in 2004, to protect our most important lands from development through the acquisition program. From the last voter approved funds, the County has purchased about 50,000 acres of conservation land. We need to continue funding an extremely successful and important program!
* In addition to key habitat for important desert species, landmark places like Tumamoc Hill, Catalina State Park, Tortolita Mountain Park, and the expansion of Tucson Mountain Park were all funded with open space bond funding. These jewels of the community are what the Tucson area is known for, and what brings visitors and new residents here.
* Many acquisitions still need to be made which are included in the CAC recommendations, including:
* Rosemont Ranch, which is under serious threat of a massive open-pit copper mine;
*West Desert Preserve, a key hiking and biking area for active residents of *Green Valley and Tucson;
*Catalina Park expansion,
*Wildlife linkage areas preserving connectivity from the Tucson Mountains to the Tortolita Mountains to the Catalina Mountains;
*Completion of acquisition of Marley Ranch southwest of Tucson; and
*Approximately 400,000 acres of biologically-significant State Trust Lands.