Pima County Bond Election – Proposition 430

Among the many propositions on the upcoming Pima County bond election is Proposition 430 which will spend $95 million on “open space land acquisition.” This is part of the County’s attempt to gain an “incidental take permit” under the endangered species act as part of the County’s Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan. The County has already spent $200 million acquiring private land. Of course all the land the County purchases is removed from the tax base.

For background, see my ADI article: Whatever happened to Pima County’s Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan?

Most jurisdictions seeking an incidental take permit manage to get a habitat conservation plan approved by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service within three years. Pima County started the process in 1998 and has yet to be granted an approved plan.

The County’s bond proposal literature claims:

“As a result of the 2004 voter-approved bond measure, Pima County was able to purchase 53 properties, totaling 47,000 acres and 192 miles of rivers and washes, as well as almost 130,000 acres of State grazing leases now managed for conservation as part of working ranches. This equates to 20 percent of the lands identified in the 2004 bond ordinance as priorities for conservation. It is estimated that $95 million in bond funding could conserve approximately 20,000 acres of the remaining land conservation priorities.”

That does not seem to square with an August 28, 2009, memo from County Supervisor Chuck Huckelberry to the Board of Supervisors in which he wrote: “…that on a species by species basis, we have already acquired enough potential mitigation land to cover the take of nearly every proposed covered species for the life of the permit.”


If that statement was true, why do we need to spend $95 million on more land?

On a recent radio program Mr. Huckelberry said that the additional land would be for species that might be listed as endangered in the future, but there is no sense of urgency to acquire the additional land now.

Audio of County Administrator on The “real need for open space”.



  1. Yall definitely got my vote. I’m new to Tucson, so I’m glad I actually read up on this cuz I’m usually the moron checking yes without knowing what he’s voting for. Thanks.

  2. Keep at it Richard. There are more of us than of them. Shake hands at every door in your district. It will get people out to the polls.

  3. I’m with you Richard. Pima County needs a change, not for sake of change, but to change the corrupt behavior of collusion that is going on behind closed doors. We need a new board that can fix our roads without Bonds (#1 priority). We need to control the primary tax rate to the mandated 1% cap. The county has already purchased enough land and it is time to help the homeowners and surviving business owners in Pima County!

  4. I know many good ppl have reached a point that they just don’t care. I been told my Vote will not count anyway. Cronies just keep doing as they will, look at Sheriff appointment.

    Well my friends they are right. I have been to point that I want to throw in towel often. If you stand against the cronies machine you get it from ppl who want them out. If you stand with group wants them voted out the cronies and the machine go after you as well.

    What a mam to do? I suggest courage and I will lead the way. Go ahead you all, I mean both sides ibstand for what is right and will Vote for a new Board. When I witness a wrong I will speak to it.

    Join me, support me, stand with me, let’s Vote these bastards out! Fire Huckleberry ! Change the entire culture of Pima County Politics. Anyone willing to stand with me and force and witness this change?

  5. I’ll tell what appears to be an endangered species in Pima County:

    Knowledgeable voters with common sense.

  6. Huckelberry & Carroll have vested interests in purchasing land with taxpayers $$. Ray can keep his crony developers like Diamond & Eckstrom out of trouble. He can by high and sell it back low. Meanwhile the only people allowed on the property will be drug & slave runners from Mexico into Phoenix. They will have free reign since we won’t be allowed to use OUR land.

  7. The total irresponsibility and lunacy of this bond proposal is placed in even sharper perspective when it is considered that only 13.8% of the land in Pima County is privately owned. Minus the roughly 2% of property tax exempt lands held by non-profits of various stripes, that figure drops to less than 12%. On the other hand, 42.1% of all lands in Pima County are Tribally owned, 14.9% are state owned (including those owned by Pima County which is a subdivision of the state), and 29.2% is owned by the feds. The result is that 44.1% of all land in Pima County, and an unknown amount of private land by virtue of “federal nexus,” is already subject to the jurisdiction of the Endangered Species Act. Yet, Mr. Huckleberry and his friends would have us believe that acquisition of even more of the miniscule amount of private land remaining in Pima County is imperative if Pima County is to obtain an “incidental take” permit from the feds under the ESA, at huge and disproportionate societal cost, for its boondoggle of a “conservation” plan. In short, it is not more private land that is in need of being acquired by Pima County, but the need for fundamental reform of a poorly written law, the ESA, that is truly imperative here.

  8. With all the open spaces preservation garbage Huckelberry talks about, the county passed on an opportunity to purchase the Rosemont Mine area. There’s far more to this than conservation. There’s some shady business going on behind closed doors.

  9. it is amazing that the Pima County taxpayers so willingly give the County Board of Supervisors a blank check.

  10. Wonder if with all this ‘land’ that if the people can use it for various things like hunting, or target practice or hell can we even have access to it? Or is it like cot lands fenced and posted ‘no trespassing’?

    • Hank WE allow this to happen because most people, especially those that get handouts from the government (using taxpayers money) forget that the government HAS NO MONEY! It is our money they use to buy OUR land and then take control and keep us out. The county then builds shooting ranges that we have to pay them to use. I don’t know about others but I’d much rather shoot out in the open (safely) then have to be ordered around like a kid at a shooting range.

  11. Well, you can’t say the guys stupid. He’s using our money to steal our land. This is an invasion the likes of Obama,the EPA and the Germans in WWII. Soon we’ll be landlocked. Seems we can’t do anything about it. It’s like the Huck and his cronies are on the Endangered Species list. Why would anyone vote yes on this bond?

    • He’s definitely stupid. Look at the condition of the county under his “leadership”. The problem is the majority of voters in Pima County who are actually voting are even dumber than he is and they keep voting to give that idiot more of their tax dollars. Voters in Pima County are part of the reason this area is so poor. They fall right into the keep them dumb and poor trap. With voter turnout routinely in the 20% area, it’s a small group of people that take the time to vote that are screwing everyone else. People need to get of their butts and get to the polls.

  12. Just one more tax grab by the BOS led by the Huckster. If we got enough open land now why do we need more??? Well, because we might have more species listed and we got to plan for that on the backs of our taxpayers, you know, like roads, more buildings which no one wants and all for more tax money. I have never seen anything like this blatant grab for more tax money to keep Pima County taxpayers in hock for at least 20 more years.

  13. And the County refuses to pay the Sheriff’s Deputies enough for them to live on without begging their families for milk money. The Pima County Libertarian Party opposes Proposition 430 as it does the other bond propositions as the County cannot afford them and neither can the taxpayers. Let their wealthy clients support the opera and symphony and stop forcing the poor to do so.
    Christopher Cole, First Vice-Chair Pima County Libertarian Party

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