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Stitching the West Back TogetherConservation of Working Landscapes$
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Susan Charnley, Thomas E. Sheridan, and Gary P. Nabhan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226165684

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226165851.001.0001

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The Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and Ranch Conservation in Pima County, Arizona

The Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and Ranch Conservation in Pima County, Arizona

(p.251) 13 The Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and Ranch Conservation in Pima County, Arizona
Stitching the West Back Together

Thomas E. Sheridan

University of Chicago Press

Pima County administrators in southern Arizona designed the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP) to promote ranch conservation, protection of critical habitats and biological corridors, riparian restoration, establishment and preservation of mountain parks, and historical and cultural preservation. In 1998, new developments were quickly spreading from metropolitan Tucson into the adjacent desert, requiring infrastructure improvements and rousing opposition from environmentalists, astronomers, and residents wanting to preserve the open space. Spurred by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s listing of a local pygmy owl as endangered, the County decided to develop a multi-species habitat conservation plan and expand its comprehensive land use plan into the multi-faceted SDCP to preserve all the region’s natural and cultural resources. A steering committee represented diverse interests to ensure citizen support. Priority habitat protection areas were identified for purchase by the county; the acquisitions are now being made through funds from the sale of open-space bonds.

Keywords:   Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, Pima County, ranch conservation, open-space bond, multi-species habitat conservation plan, habitat protection areas

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