Arizona Land and Water Trust protects Southern Arizona’s vanishing western landscapes, its farms and ranches, wildlife habitat, and the waters that sustain them. In addition to our role as land steward, we also support programs that carry out our purpose, including appropriate legislation, public education and outreach. We believe the preservation of Southern Arizona’s landscapes and ecosystems to be vital to the well-being of all residents, present and future.

Since 1978, we have protected more than 60,000  acres through conservation easements, donations and fee acquisition. In 1985 the Trust was instrumental in establishing legislation in Arizona enabling conservation easements.

The Board

The Team

Liz Petterson, Executive Director – As a Tucson native I have always had a deep connection to the Sonoran Desert. Weekend drives with my family throughout Southern Arizona anchored my interest in this Sky Island region. After receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology I worked for the Soil & Water Conservation Districts providing conservation resources for landowners. I joined the Trust in 2007 as Land and Water Program Manager and became Executive Director in 2011.

Scott McDonald, Deputy Director –When originally landing in Tucson more than 12 years ago, I was immediately struck by the unique desert landscape, culture and western heritage of Southern Arizona. Although we took a short side trip to Orange County for a few years, we knew even then that we would return to this very special place! Gladly that came about and I feel fortunate to now apply my business background and non-profit board and volunteer experiences toward the ongoing, meaningful work of the Trust and I’m especially grateful for the strong foundation established by the organization’s Board, volunteers, supporters and staff.

John Barrett, Land Program Director – After spending many years living in other parts of the country, I was happy to return to my hometown of Tucson and join the Arizona Land and Water Trust in 2017. I have seen the cities in Southern Arizona grow, and understand that expanding urban areas can pressure rural communities and strain natural resources. The Trust responds to urbanization with collaborative solutions that protect the region’s biodiversity and respect the ranching traditions of the American Southwest. As a former attorney, I also appreciate the Trust’s emphasis on partnership and enjoy helping the organization strengthen its relationships with landowners, government agencies, conservation professionals and dedicated supporters.

Cameron BeckerLand Protection and Stewardship Manager – I am a fourth generation Tucsonan and I grew up exploring and enjoying the outdoors from the Sky Islands down to the Sea of Cortez. My work with the Trust allows me the opportunity to make a difference in these open spaces and working landscapes. I couldn’t ask to work with a better team of people who share my passion for conserving the legacy and resources that make our community such an amazing place to live.

Bailey Kennett, Desert Rivers Program Director- Having grown up along riverbanks and shorelines, I’ve always felt a strong personal connection to water. An interest in global water issues motivated my undergraduate education in environmental studies and economics, and after working at the federal level to promote water sector resilience, I studied interdisciplinary water resources management at the University of Arizona. Since moving to Tucson, I’ve been inspired by Southern Arizona’s reverence for local springs and rivers, and I’m excited to be a part of the Trust’s efforts to help sustain these incredible resources.

Paul MaynardLand Project Manager – I first visited Tucson in 2014 to negotiate the purchase of an inholding at Zion National Park from a gentleman who won it in a poker game. I left with a land deal but also an infatuation with the Sonoran Desert. A year later I made Tucson my home. I joined the Trust after completing a master’s degree at the University of Arizona and I’m grateful to help conserve this unique landscape.

Amy Amoroso, Donor Engagement Manager– My family and I moved to Tucson in 2015, after spending more than a decade in rural Southern Oregon where I worked for a Native American Tribe in natural and cultural resources conservation and teaching writing at the local community college. We continue to discover and enjoy the vibrant arts, music, culture and landscape of Southern Arizona. The most exciting part of joining the team at the Arizona Land and Water Trust is nurturing relationships that center around a deep appreciation for our shared desert home.

Employment Opportunities

Arizona Land and Water Trust has no openings at this time.