Who We Are & What We Do

Pima County’s cultural resources program was created in 1989 with the hiring of the first county archaeologist. Since 1996, the office has been a part of Pima County Administration. Linda Mayro directs four archaeologists/cultural resources & historic preservation specialists.

Graphic by Bill SingletonThe Pima County Cultural Resources and Historic Preservation Division has many responsibilities:

  • We are responsible for assisting all county departments in meeting the county’s cultural resources requirements under county, state and federal law.
  • We provide assistance and technical advice to private developers and the general public.
  • We serve as the county’s regulatory office concerning cultural resources compliance requirements.
  • We manage Historic Preservation Bond projects for the acquisition and restoration of important cultural sites.
  • We are engaged in regional planning and have been heavily involved in the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.
  • We seek grants for preservation projects.
  • We engage in public outreach, education, and training.


Certified Local Government

In the Spring of 2012, Pima County became the first County Certified Local Government (CLG) in Arizona. Through a review of Pima County’s Historic Preservation program by the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Pima County was designated a Certified Local Government in Historic Preservation which permits the Pima County Cultural Resources and Historic Preservation Division to participate as a local government partner in a nationwide program of financial and technical assistance established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and administered in Arizona by the Arizona State Parks Board.

Such designation gives official federal and state recognition to Pima County’s Historic Preservation program and entitles Pima County to apply for Certified Local Government federal matching grants.  These grants may be used to identify historic, archaeological, and architectural resources through surveys, nominate eligible properties and districts to the National Register of Historic Places, further community education on historic preservation, and preserve and rehabilitate these properties.

Review & Compliance

County Capital Improvement Projects

Ensure County compliance with national, state and local historic preservation laws and policies for all County sponsored capital improvement and construction projects, such as River Road, Brandi Fenton Park at Binghampton, Colossal Cave/Vail Rd., Justice Courts complex, Tucson Diversion Channel, CDBG projects, etc. Work with all appropriate County departments, outside land management and permitting agencies, consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office through an Intergovernmental Agreement or directly, and tribes, as appropriate.

Development Services

Ensure private sector compliance with County cultural resource policies/ordinances for land use and development, such as Swan Southlands, Fairfield Canoa Ranch, Rancho del Lago, etc. Review Comprehensive Land Use Plan amendments, rezoning petitions, development and subdivision plans. Coordinate with appropriate County departments, outside land management and regulatory agencies, and consultation with State Historic Preservation Office through an Intergovernmental Agreement or directly, and tribes, as appropriate.

Open Space Preserves Cultural Resources Management

Management and protection of cultural resources protections on existing County natural area preserves and areas proposed for acquisition, such as Tucson Mountain Park, Colossal Cave, Ranch Seco, Canoa Ranch, etc. Records review, sample inventory, preparation of management plans, preparation of conservation easements, employment of Arizona Site Stewards on County lands, etc.

Grant Development & Administration

Identify and procure supplemental grant funds for inventory, planning, National Register nominations, historic property acquisition, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse of historic properties, such as Anza Trail, Colossal Cave, Agua Caliente Ranch, Robles Ranch, Joesler Buildings, Tucson Presidio Exhibit, Ajo Historic District, Courthouse Fountain, etc.

Public Information/Education/Outreach

Exhibits, signage, tours, brochures, heritage booklets, awards nominations, tax incentives program, public presentations, etc. Also, provide information to tribes and descendant groups, attendance at national, state, and local professional conferences, training, publications, staff advisory positions to Smithsonian Institute, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Society for American Archaeology, Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission, etc.

Historic Preservation Bond Program

Implementation of ca. $28 million historic preservation bond funds and grants program for acquisition, rehabilitation, and interpretation of historical and archaeological sites throughout Pima County. These properties are considered “Priority Cultural Resources,” which were selected as the “last of the best” and for their potential to provide the greatest public benefit.

Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan

Development of cultural resources element and database and numerous technical reports, as well as a predictive model of cultural resource sensitivity. Prepare ranching element by amassing data on ranching, preparing technical reports to define ranching as a land-use, facilitate ranch conservation through easements and acquisition throughout Pima County. preparation of analyses and Environmental Impact Statement documents, revisions to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, participation with Steering Committee, technical advisory teams, Science Commission.

  • Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan
    • Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area

      Since 2003, develop a feasibility study for a Congressional designation of the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area defined by the Santa Cruz River watershed in Pima and Santa Cruz counties, in partnership with all jurisdictions, tribes, land management agencies, local business organizations, and other local community group. To date, the feasibility study is complete and a draft bill has been submitted to Congressional members for introduction.

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      Cultural Resources and Historic Preservation

      201 N. Stone Ave., 6th FL
      Tucson, AZ 85701

      (520) 724-6940

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