Close the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve to
October 25, 2018 by Mark Hiegel
Do you know that the Preserve has over 35 Acres of “bulldozed” parking lots in it? Do you know that Preserve has conservatively over 100 acres of trails that have been “torn up and trampled” by hikers, bikers and humans on horseback?
We the people need to keep people out of the Preserve, so that we can preserve the Preserve in its natural state!
Of course I say this “tongue in cheek” in relationship to the statements that proponents of Proposition 420 have tried to mislead the public with.
Let’s be honest.
Prop. 420 isn’t about protecting the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. It’s about stifling the educational, research and, yes, tourism, opportunities the proposed Desert EDGE would bring to Scottsdale. It’s about people who live next to the Preserve zealously trying to keep others out. Even after the NoDDC violated three state statutes they continue to try and influence the outcome.
In a 30,580-acre Preserve, this educational center would be tucked into five acres, or less space than the parking lots already within Preserve boundaries. It will not mar the beauty and peacefulness of this treasure.
But it will give ASU scientists a home from which to research the plants and wildlife of the Preserve, adding knowledge that will help us better protect them. It will give school kids a place for hands-on learning about the desert that is their home. Maybe the opponents don’t like sharing roads with the occasional school bus.
And, it will give visitors from around the world, who too often think all deserts are alike, a place to learn about our desert. Maybe they’ll be inspired to hike the trails, experience nature, and go home with a new appreciation of what a special, amazingly green place the Sonoran Desert is.
Why would anyone want to stop that?
Well, if you live next to the Preserve, it’s a really nice private backyard. I can understand why neighbors might not want to share it with others. But anyone who has ever shopped in Scottsdale helped pay for the Preserve.
We all own a piece of it, and we all should be able to enjoy it, whether by hiking, biking, or riding the trails or visiting a modest, state-of-the-art educational facility.
Protect our City Charter. Prop. 420 is the equivalent of a “keep out” sign. Vote ‘no” on Prop. 420, and keep the Preserve open to all.
Mr Hiegel is a resident of Scottsdale, a Charro and a longtime community advocate