Superstition Area Land Plan

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Superstition Area Land Plan

In order to determine which lands should be designated for development and which lands should be conserved as open space for future generations, The Superstition Area Land Trust (SALT) commissioned a Land Plan Study in 2000 that encompassed approximately 105 square miles of state trust, federal and private land.

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Study Intent

The study was developed to provide Pinal County, State and local decision-makers and the people of Arizona with definitive data to aid in land use planning of the lands that lie at the base of the superstition wilderness.  The inventory and analysis is based on quantitative, physical data with some qualitative elements based on interdisciplinary consensus.  The report presents a balance based on this analysis to help make rational decisions as to which lands may be appropriate for development and which should be conserved as open space for future generations.

Proposed Conceptual Area Plan

SALT proposes that Pinal County and the Arizona State Land Department utilize this conceptual Area Plan to guide the conservation of State Trust and private lands.

Analysis Maps

A Subcommittee consisting of the planners and SALT board members visited city, county, state and federal officials to solicit input and discuss the data.

The maps were overlaid, and new analysis maps were developed to determine which areas were most suitable for development and which should be preserved.

What is needed Now?

SALT has identified the land most in need of conservation, but little can be done to preserve it without public and government action.  140 acres in the proposed preserve area are under private ownership.  One of SALT’s priorities is to buy or obtain conservation easements on that land, a project that may cost more than $1,000.000.

Pinal County has identified the recommended preserve area in it Comprehensive Plan.  However, under current Arizona, Law, State trust lands can still be sold or leased by the State Land Department for development.  SALT is working with other groups to change state law to allow preservation of state trust land not possible under current Arizona statuets.  Until changes to state law allow for perservign stant trust land without expending tens of millions of dollars for even small parcels, the rapidly vanishing Sonoran desert will continue to disappear under asphalt and rooftops.