Scottsdale eyes state trust land valued at $88.2M

Sonoran Preserve would expand by almost 30 percent

By Peter Corbett

The Arizona Republic

Scottsdale aims to buy nearly $90 million worth of state trust land in far north Scottsdale this year for its McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Three parcels totaling nearly 6,400 acres, appraised last month at as much as $88.2 million, are likely to be auctioned late this year by the Arizona State Land Department.

The city is hoping to obtain $10 million to $15 million from a state Growing Smarter conservation fund to pay for the state trust lands east of the Legend Trail golf community, said Kroy Ekblaw, Scottsdale preserve director.

“We’re looking at the probability of pursuing all three parcels,” he said.

The acquisitions would increase the size of the 21,400-acre preserve by nearly 30 percent and would close the gap on Scottsdale’s goal of protecting 34,000 acres of desert and mountain terrain from development.

The preserve, funded by a voter-approved sales tax, is a haven for wildlife and non-motorized recreation for equestrians, hikers and mountain bikers.

The targeted parcels are east of Pima Road and south of the Stagecoach Pass alignment.

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