Scottsdale acquires key parcels for McDowell Sonoran Preserve

(map provided by city of Scottsdale)

(map provided by city of Scottsdale)

Scottsdale acquired 415 acres of land for its McDowell Sonoran Preserve at two state land auctions Sept. 21. The city of Scottsdale was the only bidder.

The city’s successful bids totaled $30.4 million, according to a press release. Funding will come from money generated by two dedicated sales taxes approved by Scottsdale voters in 1995 and 2004.

“Today’s land purchases mark another milestone in the creation of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve,” said Mayor Jim Lane in the release.

“These key parcels not only protect more than 400 acres of scenic land, they will provide another potential entry way into the preserve for residents who want to enjoy our beautiful Sonoran Desert.”

With the acquisitions, Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve encompasses more than 30,500 contiguous acres – nearly 47 square miles. That achieves 90 percent of the long-range goal to preserve about 34,000 acres, nearly a third of the city’s land area.

The preserve lands acquired during the Sept. 21 auction are predominately rolling topography with a diversity of boulder outcroppings. They feature lush upper Sonoran Desert vegetation and several washes home to extensive riparian plants and abundant wildlife.

The land includes the western edge of the Rawhide Wash corridor and a planned major trailhead near the intersection of Pima Road and Dynamite Boulevard.  The proposed trailhead would provide access to planned and existing trails in the northwest region of the preserve.

The lands are generally located east of Pima Road, west of the 104th Street alignment, north of Dynamite Boulevard and south of the Westland Road alignment. They are within a “recommended study boundary” that includes all of the land targeted to be part of the preserve, the release stated.

Learn more about Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve at www.ScottsdaleAZ.gov, search “preserve.”

The Scottsdale Independent is published monthly and mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses in Scottsdale.

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