Carefree Gets Land For Preservation

DFLTBy Curtis Riggs ~ Carefree and preservation officials are ecstatic that the Town has acquired some large parcels for preservation near the northeastern border of the community. The Town recently received a gift of 20 acres of high rolling desert from the Van Whelden family. This land is near the 30 acres the Town is now in the midst of purchasing for preservation. The Desert Foothills Land Trust is also receiving a gift of 10 acres as part of the Town’s 30 acre purchase. This brings the total acres that will be preserved into perpetuity to 60. Carefree Mayor David Schwan credits Town Administrator Gary Neiss and DFLT staff for their efforts in acquiring the land.

“It is very hilly and has spectacular views of Black Mountain,” he says while adding the property has much historical and environmental significance. DFLT Executive Director Sonia Perillo called determining the land as suitable for preservation “critical.”

“It is a place where there are terrific cultural and water resources,” she adds. “This is a great opportunity for the community.”

The area is located near Carefree’s northeastern border, about two miles north of SkyRanch Airport. Because of the difficulty in accessing the area and the fear that some of the cultural resources will be vandalized or stolen – the exact location of the property is not being divulged. Now that details on the gift and the purchase have been finalized, the Town and DFLT are working out agreements on access and the management of the land. DFLT will create a management plan for the area. The idea is for DFLT to become stewards of the land.

Carefree paid just under $290,000 for the purchase of the parcel. The money came from Carefree’s open spaces account, which is earmarked for land preservation. |CST

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