Now is your chance to advocate for open space and important habitat! On March 21, the Bond Advisory Committee (BAC) will discuss open space funding for the next bond election. The Conservation Acquisition Commission (CAC) recommended that $285 million be allocated for Conservation Open Space. So far, $120 million has been tentatively adopted, less than half of what was recommended! Bond funds have helped purchase many important areas, and many more need protection!
Please take a moment to write to the BAC urging that they support a bond package as fully funded as possible for open space! Talking points include:
- Voters have shown continued support for open space in past bond elections and a recent survey.
- Experts advise the county to add about 600,000 acres of select open space to its inventory for the desert to continue to thrive with protected areas and connected corridors.
- These funds are vital to meet the goals and vision of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and are necessary for long-term survival of unique and rare local native species.
- The Sonoran Desert is the top attraction for both residents and visitors in Southern Arizona. A thriving economy depends on our open space!
Please address to:
Larry Hecker, Chair & Committee Members
Pima County Bond Advisory Committee
130 W Congress St., 10th Floor
Tucson, AZ 85701
If you can, please also join us at the Riverpark Inn (350 S Freeway) at 8am, March 21st, to pack the halls and fill out a written card in support of open space! We are not requesting that you speak; rather we want to fill the hall and stand up in support of our three speakers.
Bond funds have been very important for open space acquisition and conservation! In 2004, voters approved $174 million for this purpose, resulting in approximately 200,000 acres of land that has been purchased or leased for permanent protection! 400,000 acres of State Trust land alone still need to be preserved. This includes completing the “Arroyo Grande” wildlife linkage that will strengthen connectivity between the Tortolita and Santa Catalina Mountains, and the 2,400-acre Tortolita Preserve if the town of Marana ends its lease of the area from the Arizona State Land Department. Other needs include acquiring Rosemont Ranch (if the proposed Rosemont mind fails), expanding Saguaro National Park, completing the purchase of Marley Ranch, and Painted Hills in the Tucson Mountains. It’s more important now than ever to fund these purchases and improve habitat connectivity for a healthy Sonoran Desert ecosystem.