Letter: Setting record straight on Palo Verde Regional Park plan

The Palo Verde Mountains as seen from Farrell and Stonebluff roads in Hidden Valley. [Bryan Mordt]

By Cyndi Ruehl

I want to handle the current survey and follow-up article, from the May 13, 2022 inMaricopa article “Poll: Readers mostly split on support for the Palo Verde park.” Let’s set the document straight earlier than extra misinformation and slanted surveys spin uncontrolled.

Cyndi Ruehl [Courtesy of Cyndi Ruehl]

1. TAXES DO NOT PAY FOR PINAL COUNTY REGIONAL PARKS. One-time Impact Fees required of latest building and grants pay for county regional parks. There has by no means been dialogue within the county to ever increase taxes to pay for parks. As an instance, Peralta Regional Park within the Superstitions, is presently beneath building and our county taxes have really decreased.

2. THE LAND IS FREE! Federal land is leased to the county for the aim of offering a park with facilities, by means of the Recreation and Public Purposes Act. Imagine the federal authorities handing us 23,000 acres of lovely, scarce Sonoran Desert FOR FREE. Considering the going worth of uncooked land round Maricopa lately, I’d say that’s fairly the reward!

3. OPERATING EXPENSES ARE COVERED BY VOLUNTEERS AND/OR ENTRANCE FEES. Nominal entrance charges maintain the trash hauled out, roads and trails maintained, and restrooms working. We all know what occurs to unmanaged desert: unlawful dumping, irresponsible taking pictures and set off trash, and out-of-control wildcat off-highway automobile (OHV) destruction.

4. REGIONAL PARKS INCREASE PROPERTY VALUES (desecrated land doesn’t). According to the examine performed by the nationally acknowledged Trust for Public Lands, open area and trails in Pinal County contributed $36.5 million to native economies and generated $675,000 in county gross sales taxes (2008). The examine additionally highlights that sustaining open areas:

• Protects water provides by permitting for pure recharge and drainage
• Counters city warmth island results, that are on the rise with elevated growth in surrounding areas, and
Attracts top quality financial growth

5. REGIONAL PARKS PROTECT OPEN SPACES FROM DEVELOPMENT. According to a current monetary examine performed by SensibleAsset, Pinal County presently leads the state in new constructing permits and ranked forty ninth within the nation. Remember, BLM is the present land supervisor of the Palo Verde space and isn’t mandated to designate that land as open area. The company can determine, for no matter cause, to promote it off to builders. Thankfully, in 2007, Pinal County listened to their involved residents’ concern of dropping their open areas throughout fast development and created the Open Space & Trails Master Plan, which had the foresight to preserve and keep the open areas round us.

The Palo Verde Mountains could be one of many final giant items of Sonoran Desert left for our neighborhood and future generations to take pleasure in. So, let’s not destroy this golden alternative by spreading deceptive concepts, taxation fears and false beliefs that it’ll at all times stay a beautiful open area with out administration and group.

When most of our distinctive desert is paved over, you and future generations can be proud that you simply have been part of retaining a bit of it wild and pure for all to take pleasure in.

Cyndi Ruehl is a long-time Pinal County resident and inaugural chairwoman of the Pinal County Open Space and Trails Commission.

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