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Arizona - Growing Smarter Fund Distributes $25 Million

Arizona State Parks Board awarded $24,646,380 in Growing Smarter State Trust Land Acquisition Fund grants

Earlier this fall, the Arizona State Parks Board awarded $24,646,380 in Growing Smarter State Trust Land Acquisition Fund grants from the Land Conservation Fund.

"The State Parks Board feels these six open space projects will ensure protection of Arizona's scenic deserts around urban areas that are experiencing high growth," said State Parks Director Bryan Martyn.

The following six grants were awarded:

1. City of Scottsdale — McDowell Sonoran Preserve/Cholla Mountain-Rawhide Wash towards the purchase of 2,045 acres for up to $4,824,330

2. City of Scottsdale — McDowell Sonoran Preserve/Granite Mountain towards the purchase of 3,200 acres for up

to $6,783,082

3. City of Scottsdale — McDowell Sonoran Preserve/Upper Sonoran Desert towards the purchase of 1,153 acres

for up to $4,389,051

4. Pima County — Tortolita Mountain towards the purchase of 1,415 acres for up to $1,890,000.

5. City of Flagstaff — Picture Canyon towards the purchase of 477.80 acres for up to $2,389,000.

6. City of Phoenix — Sonoran Preserve Priority 3-D towards the purchase of 1,543.78 acrers for up to $4, 379,917

A total of $40,734,760 was available from the Land Conservation Fund for the FY 2012 Growing Smarter Grant Cycle. However, A.R.S. §41-511.23.H.2 states that no more than 50 percent of the Land Conservation Fund from any one fiscal year may be awarded to projects in a single county.

This resulted in a total of $20,367,380 available for the four projects in Maricopa County. Approval of the awards is contingent upon the applicants being the successful bidders at public auction. The final grant amounts will be based on the Arizona State Land Department final appraisal value of the parcels.

The purpose of the Land Conservation Fund is to conserve open spaces in or near urban areas and other areas experiencing high growth pressures. This is accomplished by awarding grants for the purchase or lease of State Trust land that has been classified as suitable for conservation purposed by the Arizona State Land Department (ASLD).

The passage of Proposition 303 on November 3, 1998 established an annual $20 million appropriation by the Arizona State Legislature from the General Fund to the Land Conservation Fund. This annual appropriation began in FY 2001 and ended in FY 2011.

With the passage of Senate Bill 1071 in 2003, State Parks annually transferred $2 million to the Livestock and Crop Conservation Fund administered by the Department of Agriculture. As a result, an $18 million annual appropriation was available for the Growing Smarter grant program through FY 2011.

Beginning FY 2012 only remaining unexpended funds are available for grant awards. It is anticipated that approximately $16,083,380 will remain available for the next grant cycle.

For more grant information regarding the grant programs or grant workshop dates and locations contact Doris Pulsifer at Arizona State Parks at (602) 542-7127 or (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800) 285-3703) or visit the website at http://www.azstateparks.com

 

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