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  • Maeveen Behan Desert Sanctuary to be dedicated Nov. 16

    Nov 05, 2013 | Read More News
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    Maeveen Behan crafted an unprecedented land use plan for Pima County that balanced growth and conservation before she died in 2009 at age 48.

    Maeveen BehanOn Saturday, Nov. 16, the Pima County Board of Supervisors and Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation will dedicate the Maeveen Behan Desert Sanctuary at Arthur Pack Regional Park, 9101 N. Thornydale Road.

    The event, which begins at 11 a.m., is open to the public and will be followed by a reception at Tucson Audubon Society’s Mason Center, south of the park at 3835 W. Hardy Road.

    The Maeveen Behan Desert Sanctuary is near the pond in the park and has been landscaped with trees and shrubs from the County’s Native Plant Nursery. It has a seating area, a metal arch memorial and birding and mountain views. The 2-mile Maeveen Behan Trail connects with the Arthur Pack Regional Park Trail System, 10 other trails totaling 3.5 miles.

    In a resolution adopted by the Board of Supervisors just minutes before Behan’s death, the Board credited her with spearheading the effort that led to the County’s Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.

    When the federal government’s designation of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl as an endangered species threatened development plans in Pima County, Behan:
    • recommended that the County broaden the scope of discussions to other important and vulnerable species as well as infrastructure, taxation, history, archaeology, open space, housing, water, recreation and ranching.
    • suggested that the Board of Supervisors open the process to all affected entities, including ranchers, developers, environmental groups, tribal entities, interested citizens, and elected leaders of incorporated cities and towns.
    • attended more than 600 meetings with citizens and elected officials.
    • translated the biologically preferred reserve design developed by the scientific community and adopted by the Board into what is now known as the “Conservation Lands System."
    • created a new understanding of how the Conservation Lands System would mitigate traditional conflicts between conservation of natural and cultural resources and preservation of economic vitality.

    “The result of all of the foregoing effort conjoined with the work of others catalyzed support for open-space acquisition, funding for repairing wildlife corridors, improved cooperation among jurisdictions, strengthening of federal land commitments, (and) revisions of County policies and procedures,” the resolution said.