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  • Commission Supports 2010 Funding Level for Open Space

    Oct 15, 2013 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Conservation Acquisition Commission voted on September 12 to ask the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee to retain at least $110 million in the next bond package for voters to be used to buy open space for habitat protection.

    Cienega Creek The Commission in 2010 called for the Bond Advisory Committee to allocate $285 million for open space purchases, but the committee that year pared the figure down to $110 million for its tentative proposal. The county administration now is recommending that the figure be further reduced to $90 million, or at least to $96 million.

    The Board of Supervisors ultimately will decide on this figure and what else goes into the next bond package for voters’ consideration, which probably will be in November 2015.

    The 11-member commission was created to advise the Board of Supervisors on the use of bond money for purchasing lands to preserve as open space, largely for habitat protection. It also oversees the purchase agreements for and maintenance of these lands 

    The county administration believes the bond funds allotted to this category can be reduced because a major purchase, the Marley Ranch, was partially paid for out of the 2004 bond package. Commission members said they believe more money even than $110 million is needed for these purchases when one considers the findings of scientific experts with regard to habitat protection and also the need to satisfy requirements of the county’s landmark Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan over time.

    Richard and the local environmental advocacy community believe the commission is on the right track and the $110 million for open-space purchases in the next bond package is the minimum needed.