Trust buys historic farm south of Tucson once proposed for residential development

By Henry Brean | Arizona Daily Star

Ahistoric, creek-side farm once targeted for residential development will be preserved instead as an agricultural and ecological oasis 40 miles south of Tucson.

The nonprofit Arizona Land and Water Trust has purchased the first 371 acres of the Sopori Creek and Farm in Amado, with an agreement in place to buy the rest of the 1,310-acre spread over the next three years.

The property, just inside Santa Cruz County west of Interstate 19, includes more than a mile of the ephemeral creek where it empties into the Santa Cruz River. It also comes with roughly 300 acres of irrigated farmland and enough groundwater rights to sustain it.

The trust hopes to see the land used for everything from a grass bank for local ranchers to a pastoral proving ground, where farmers can practice or pioneer sustainable growing techniques for arid climates — all while preserving an important wildlife corridor and riparian area.

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