Desert Foothills Land Trust and Black Mountain Conservancy agree to merge
September 30, 2009
Dave Mills, BMC board member and transition chair; Stacy Fischer, DFLT interim executive director, and Sue Clement, DFLT president. After several years of partnering together to preserve undeveloped land, Desert Foothills Land Trust and Black Mountain Conservancy have agreed to merge. Courtesy Photo
CAVE CREEK – After several years of partnering together to preserve undeveloped land, Desert Foothills Land Trust (DFLT) and Black Mountain Conservancy (BMC) have agreed to join together in their preservation efforts and operate as the Desert Foothills Land Trust.
Sue Clement, DFLT president, said the merger makes sense, particularly since both non-profits have similar goals.
“By bringing these two dynamic organizations together, we hope to eliminate public confusion regarding our goals,” Clement said. “We also believe that we will improve efficiencies in administration, fundraising, and many other aspects of our work.”
Arlene Patton, BMC president, said the merger of both non-profits will result in a more positive, synergistic impact for the overall conservation of open space in the Desert Foothills area.
“The missions of the two organizations came together, so why not these organizations themselves? Now, more than ever, it makes sense for us to merge,” Patton said.
Dave Mills, BMC board member and transition chair, said discussions began when BMC was notified by it’s landlord that it would need to find a new office.
“Ten years ago, when BMC was formed, our missions were distinctly different,” Mills said. “BMC was focused on the mountain; DFLT was focused on riparian locales. This was explicitly discussed in a meeting moderated by the Land Trust Alliance when BMC was being formed.”
Mills further explained that some four years ago, BMC and DFLT, together with The Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land, came together in a collaborative effort to map the remaining open space which would be suitable for preservation in the Desert Foothills areas of Cave Creek and Carefree.
“This project, called the Desert Foothills Natural Resources Initiative resulted in DFLT broadening its mission statement to include Viewsheds, a legitimate conservation criterion,” Mills said.
Clement said DFLT values its partners, and at least two or more BMC board members will join DFLT’s board in order to maintain continuity.
“We will continue many of Black Mountain Conservancy’s popular programs, such as the Black Mountain photography contest,” she said. “We will also add programs to our existing calendar of events, such as hikes and lectures.”
Since its incorporation in 1991, Desert Foothills Land Trust has preserved 611.7 acres in the Sonoran Desert Foothills of central Arizona. DFLT has a 10-year goal to protect 11,500 acres of open land, including 10,000 acres of State land and 1,500 acres of private and federal land.
Black Mountain is one of the few Sonoran Desert Foothills mountains whose dramatic slopes are still relatively unscathed by development. Its striking profile rises 1,000 feet above the surrounding terrain.
To learn more about Desert Foothills Land Trust and Black Mountain, visit www.dflt.org or call 480-488-6131.