MAY 14, 2014

Public invited to learn about effort to protect resources in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve

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Residents are invited to learn more about an effort to protect the plants, animals and land of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  A public program focusing on the ecological sustainability of the preserve takes place at 5:30 p.m. May 22 at the Mustang Library, 10101 N. 90th St.

The program is hosted by the city and the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, a non-profit group that works with the city on the completion and sustainability of the preserve.

Representatives from both groups will share information on the process of drafting an ecological resource plan. That’s the initial step in forming a comprehensive resource management plan for the preserve, which the city is creating.

The major planning effort will bring together the city, citizens, and stakeholders to develop a document that will guide the management and stewardship of the preserve’s natural resources.
Now encompassing more than 30,000 acres, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is the largest urban land preserve in the nation.

“A completed Ecological Resource plan will help guide land management and stewardship to benefit the plants and animals of the preserve, as well as the people who visit the preserve,” explained Melanie Tluczek, manager of the McDowell Sonoran Field Institute, the Conservancy’s research center.

Tluczek said the plan will develop a long-term understanding of urban impact on the preserve, to facilitate monitoring for any negative impacts or trends before any damage becomes irreversible.

“This initial meeting is to help ensure the community has the opportunity to be informed about the plan, and the science involved in the process,” said Tluczek.  “It will help us gather feedback and thoughts from the community for consideration as the plan moves forward.”

“The Ecological Resource Plan will provide the city of Scottsdale with science-based information and will be a major part of the broader long-term resource management plan for Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve,” added Liz Hildenbrand, the city’s preserve manager.

Additional information about the program and planning process is available on the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy website at, or by contacting Tluczek at