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  • 2004 Bond Progam

    By The Numbers:

    $173 million in voter-approved bonds

    50,000 acres acquired

    130,000 acres of state and BLM grazing leases
    In the late 1990s, conflict between development and federal endangered species requirements ignited a broad-based community planning effort led by Pima County to comprehensively identify our most important natural areas, and to provide certainty about where our region should grow. This effort culminated in the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP) and the Conservation Lands System (CLS) map that identifies areas most suitable for conservation. 

    In 2003, the SDCP steering committee recommended that private developers not shoulder a disproportionate cost of achieving these conservation goals, and that the County hold a bond election to ask voters to approve bonds for the purposes of purchasing priority lands within the CLS called Habitat Protection Priorities. 

    In 2004, voters tasked the County with acquiring these Habitat Protection Priorities, as well as community open space inside and outside cities and towns. The citizen Conservation Acquisition Commission was appointed to oversee the program and no acquisition would be considered by the Board of Supervisors unless it had been recommended by the Commission. Voters also approved funding for the acquisition of culturally important properties and floodprone lands.


     Sweetwater Preserve

     SweetwaterThis park, located in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains between Sweetwater Road and Camino del Cerro, was one of the first properties purchased after the 2004 bond election. When neighbors heard the property was in danger of being developed, over 180 people raised $30,000 and worked with the Trust for Public Land to secure an option to purchase the property. In 2011, the County purchased an adjacent 187 acres, bringing the total acreage to 887. This property is very popular with hikers and mountain bikers.
    Rancho Seco

     Rancho Seco

     Rancho SecoWith the assistance of the Arizona Open Land Trust (now Arizona Land and Water Trust), the Rowley family found a way to keep working their family ranch, while Pima County protected important habitat, as well as the uplands of two relatively intact watersheds. The County acquired Rancho Seco, near Arivaca, in 2005 and it includes 10,000 acres of land in fee and 20,000 acres of State and federal grazing leases. Today, the Rowley’s manage the ranch on behalf of the County, continuing their six decades of ranching tradition, and allowing the County to dedicate resources elsewhere.

     Habitat at 36th and Kino

    HabitatPrior to the 2004 bond election, the Tucson Audubon Society and neighbors advocated for the conservation of this 20-acre property in mid-town Tucson. The property, located near 36th Street and Kino Boulevard, is near six schools, the Quincie Douglas Recreation Center and library. It supports an unusually high number of bird species due to dense riparian vegetation associated with storm water drainage across the property. Its bird diversity, as well as its location, make it well suited for environmental education programing. The County purchased the property in 2011, and did a comprehensive clean up and made minimal improvements. Future funding will be sought for trail development, parking and ramada improvements.

    1974 Bond Program
    1986 Bond Program
    1997 Bond Program

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