Tucson, Ariz. — Arizona Land and Water Trust (the Trust) announced today that it has successfully acquired 372 acres, Phase IV, of its strategic campaign to purchase and protect the Sopori Creek and Farm in Amado, a unique area with rare grandfathered-water rights, irrigated farmland, a rich biotic community, and a storied history. With 1,025 acres acquired the Trust only has another 275 acres to acquire in 2024. The Trust is in the process of raising the $1.75m needed for this final Pahse V acquisition, along with needed well repairs on the farm and further restoration of the watershed, as well as a stewardship endowment to protect the Creek and Farm in perpetuity.
The Sopori Creek and Farm property lies amidst nearly 20,000 acres of protected priority conservation lands, the majority protected through the Pima County Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP). The project property offers an array of unique conservation resources in one area, including a rare shallow groundwater system, irrigated land, wildlife habitat and corridors, cultural resources, drainage, and accessibility to farmland. The initial purchase of 371 acres includes one mile of Sopori Creek, a major tributary of the Santa Cruz River that feeds the Tucson basin.
According to the Trust’s Executive Director Michael McDonald, ”Protecting Sopori Creek and Farm’s rich resources and history is a priority for Arizona Land and Water Trust – the only conservation organization in Southern Arizona with over 45 years’ experience solely facilitating agreements with private landowners to advance protection of western landscapes and their waters.”
Sopori Creek and Farm is considered a “conservation linchpin” because it advances a link between the Santa Cruz River to 54,000 acres of working landscape, protected by Pima County’s Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and the nearby Coronado National Forest.
Please visit soporicreekfarm.org to see a video and an area map, and to learn more about the Creek and Farm’s water, wildlife, cultural resources, and farming, plus how to donate to support the remaining Phase V.