THE CENTRAL ARIZONA LAND TRUST WISHES EVERYONE A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
To preserve and protect open space, wildlife habitat, working agricultural lands and the scenic and cultural values of Central Arizona for future generations.
What We Offer
PRESIDENT'S 2015 FALL MESSAGE
Recently Central Arizona Land Trust received a very important letter (it even arrived via US Postal Service, as well as email).
This important letter advised us that our ‘pre-application’ for accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the national Land Trust Alliance has been accepted. Continue...
PRESCOTT - As a young girl, Lisa Greene Sharp's backyard was a seemingly endless 22,000 acres of mountain vista ranch land near the Mexican border filled with cows, horses, sheep, hay, and oak trees.
No paved roads. No modern conveniences.
Just a rambling, two-and-a-half story red brick ranch house built in the late 1800s with 28 rooms and a wraparound veranda ideal for sipping fresh lemonade on a hot summer day.
Nature, and an assortment of farm animals, were her playmates. The night sky and cowboy stories her entertainment.
So it is no wonder the now New Mexico resident and author of the 2014 memoir "A Slow Trot Home' can still smell the prairie grass, saddle leather and the sheep that once roamed the San Rafael Ranch in Patagonia, the setting for such Western movies as the musical, "Oklahoma!"
No wonder her favorite stories are of adventures she and her siblings, and her two now-grown sons, had on the sacred land her divorced mother ranched for more than three decades.
"Ranch memories flow like gravity's pull on water and soak my own body's soul,' reads an opening line in the book that was a 2014 finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards.
On Friday, June 5, Sharp was the guest speaker at a Central Arizona Land Trust event to highlight the importance of protecting Arizona's natural resources. The 26-year-old CALT has preserved more than 4,000 acres.
"The land is a reflection of our heritage, our way of life and our future,' said CALT Board President Becky Ruffner.
A gifted storyteller, Sharp shared with some 50 people the origins of the San Rafael Ranch, officially known as the San Rafael de la Zanja Land Grant. Her maternal grandfather, Col. William Greene purchased from a cattle baron in 1903.
In 1958, her mother, a divorcee with four children, traded her shares in her family's cattle company for the ranch in the San Rafael Valley.
Raised in the cattle business, her mother proved a formidable businesswoman. She infused her children with an appreciation for back-aching work - Sharp's book recounts her aversion to California redwood born from hours of stripping oil paint off the kitchen walls - and wide open spaces.
When her mother's health declined in 1988, Sharp's brother, Bob, took over. In 1998, three years after her mother's death, estate and family issues required the children to sell the ranch, she said.
The siblings did not want the ranch to go the way of Western lore. For certain, they did not wish to see it become a suburban landscape of houses or a strip mall. Dismissing developer offers, the siblings opted to sell the land for preservation to the Nature Conservancy.
In turn, the Nature Conservancy sold the ranch home and 3,000 acres to the Arizona state park service. They sold the remainder to a private landowner who, beyond a 10-acre parcel to build a personal home, agreed to easements that forever keeps the ranch as it has been for more than 500 years.
No power lines, no paved roads, no commerce.
"We, as a family, felt good to be able to preserve the ranch," said Sharp of the land where cows still graze and the night sky is illuminated only by distant stars.
On the last page of her book, Sharp speaks of a visit to her mother's one-acre gravesite in the high desert portion of the land, the place where she will one day be buried.
"I am still. I quiet my breathing. I close my eyes. Every ounce of my soul melts into the surroundings, and I become one with this land that will always be my home."
The Daily Courier
For 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has provided critical funding for land and water conservation projects, outdoor recreation access, and the continued preservation of our nation’s historic, cultural and iconic landmarks.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition is asking for your help to ensure the LWCF is reauthorized before it expires in September 2015, and at the same time urge Congress to provide robust funding for LWCF when funding levels are decided this summer. Critical parks, trails, wildlife and recreation projects are counting on LWCF funding this year.
Please visit the "Take Action" webpage (http://lwcfcoalition.org/take-action.html) at the coalition website and learn more in how you can add your voice to this important federal funding source supporting outdoor recreation and conservation.