McDowell Sonoran Conservancy releases statement regarding Prop. 420

A picturesque view of desert vegetation that grows unobstructed by human development. (Arianna Grainey/Independent Newsmedia)

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy issued a statement Thursday, Sept. 27 in regard to Scottsdale Proposition Number 420, slated to appear on the city election ballot Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Proposition 420, if approved, will require voter approval for any construction and usage of earmarked conservation dollars within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

The conservancy statement goes as follows:

“The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy is charged with the great responsibility of caring for and maintaining the city of Scottsdale’s greatest treasure: the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

“In pursuit of our mission to ensure that these lands remain vibrant and vital, and that they are available for future generations, we are privileged to work closely with the elected, appointed and professional leadership of the city of Scottsdale; an incredible team of more than 600 volunteer Stewards; a professional and dedicated Conservancy management team; and every citizen of the city.

“We endeavor daily to assure that our goals are both fiscally sustainable and in service to the land that we are responsible for preserving, and to the people who enjoy and utilize it, for recreation, education and in the furtherance of scientific study.

“As such, and after careful consideration, we have chosen, as an organization, to not take a position for or against the provisions of Scottsdale Proposition 420, and to leave this critical decision regarding the management of the Preserve and the future of this land to the judgment of the citizens of Scottsdale.

“We encourage every citizen of the city to carefully review both sections of Proposition 420, and to educate themselves regarding the impact of the proposition and how it will alter the way the City manages the Preserve.

“We also encourage every citizen to consider the implications and possible effects it will have on the city’s ability to work with its partners, including the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, to insure the fiscally and environmentally sustainable future of this invaluable natural resource.

“Our community is at its strongest when our voices are heard, and we call upon every Scottsdale citizen who is eligible to cast an informed vote on Proposition 420 during the City’s general election on November 6, 2018.”

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy is governed by a 22-member, volunteer board of directors, currently led by Board Chair Richard Bourke. The conservancy’s professional staff is led by Executive Director Justin Owen, who guides a team of more than 10 full-time and part-time employees.

The organization is supported by more than 600 volunteer stewards from the community, who provide year-round service to the conservancy and preserve visitors.

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