Why does AZSLT acquire land then sell? Plus Scottsdale election candidates...- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Steep Hill
    Reputation: AZClydesdale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,486

    Why does AZSLT acquire land then sell? Plus Scottsdale election candidates...

    I know these are not the most exciting MTB questions, but if you have a response on any of them I would like to hear:

    Today the Arizona State Land Trust sold 276 acres near 40th Street. They got over $100M which is 3x the appraised value. Will this interfere with T-100 in any way? Why does AZSLT acquire prime land then turn around to sell it? If to buy more land, what is the point if they sell the prime urban land? This saddens and confuses the hell out of me.

    In general, do you think the State Land Trust does a good job?

    ---------Scottsdale Elections are May 18------------

    The City of Scottsdale will hold a Runoff Election for the purpose of electing a Mayor, three Council members, and questions related to McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

    Is there one Scottsdale mayor or council candidate that is more pro-MTB over the other? They all talk about preservation and the usual politician double-speak.

    Thanks,
    Steven
    ** Obey gravity. It's the law. **

  2. #2
    Skinny legged XC geek
    Reputation: pedalAZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    247

    Some answers

    Quote Originally Posted by AZClydesdale
    I know these are not the most exciting MTB questions, but if you have a response on any of them I would like to hear:

    Today the Arizona State Land Trust sold 276 acres near 40th Street. They got over $100M which is 3x the appraised value. Will this interfere with T-100 in any way? Why does AZSLT acquire prime land then turn around to sell it? If to buy more land, what is the point if they sell the prime urban land? This saddens and confuses the hell out of me.

    In general, do you think the State Land Trust does a good job?

    The Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) does not acquire land. All it has was given to them on February 14, 1912, the day Arizona became a state. The condition of the gift was to either use the land for schools, or sell it to the highest bidder, with the money used for education. It was not intended to be land used for recreation or preservation when it was set aside this way. Beginning with the Urban Lands Act of 1980, the ASLD was finally given some tools to help them zone and market land in and near the urban fringe. The ASLD state directors in those days (the go-go 80's) were regularly duped by the land developers and made sweet heart deals. I have to give Mark Winklemen credit, he has a lot more savvy than his predecessors in terms of milking the best price when he sells, and in knowing what he has to sell. Unfortunately for Mark, his job is clear: He has a mandate to get the highest price; his mandate is not to set land aside for preservation. There was some legislation a few years ago that created a mechanism of designating certain lands as suitable for preservation, essentially deferring thier sale for a while until a local muncipality with preservation in mind to find a way to buy it, and also allowing him to sell it with a deed restriction that essentially required it to be open space. A group of do gooders in Tucson recently filed suit claiming this was in violation of the original charter, and they are probably right. Our Congressional delegation could fix this situation in a heartbeat if they had any backbone or the stomach for it, but they don't, because they are afraid of various special interest groups that would be mad if much of the the ASLD inventory was set aside as permanent open space.

    A big working group of environmentalists, planners, land developers, ranchers, etc have been working on a new package of legislation to clean all this up and better balance preservation and sales, but it has not yet passed the legislature. It might be the basis for a special session this summer. It is definitely needed, and still requires congressional ratification once passed here in AZ. If any of the players backs away, it is probably a dead duck. Too bad. Someone will probably pee in the punch.



    Quote Originally Posted by AZClydesdale
    ---------Scottsdale Elections are May 18------------

    The City of Scottsdale will hold a Runoff Election for the purpose of electing a Mayor, three Council members, and questions related to McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

    Is there one Scottsdale mayor or council candidate that is more pro-MTB over the other? They all talk about preservation and the usual politician double-speak.

    Thanks,
    Steven
    The Mayor's race is easy. Mary Manross is a reasonable person; David Ortega is nuts, and has actually come out AGAINST the sales tax boost to buy more land for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve (i.e., the Pima & Dynamite trail system). His rationale is that sales taxes are not the best way to fund the acquisition; he wants the people who own property nearby that would benefit to foot the bill. The trouble is, he won't get enough doing it on locally raised funds alone; the complete acquisition willl need the sales taxes PLUS locally funded assessments. Hence, he should have supported the sales tax and proposed the local assessment in addition. Mary Manross probably doesn't have the guts to ask for the locally funded assessment component, but she is committed to the Preserve. So, vote for Mary.

    The one candidate that squeeked in through the primary with enough votes to be seated already, Betty Drake, is a trails advocate (horsey set), who will help with the Preserve. I don't know enough about the others to have it figured out who will be most effective in completing the preserve acquisition.

    The City's strategy is scary; they want to buy the 2 sections of land WEST of Pima Road FIRST, because they see those parcels as being threatened sooner by development pressure. The problem is, those two tracts aren't part of the Preserve core, and add little benefit, but will suck the city's resources dry to purchase. They should be buying the heart of the Preserve first and will regret not keeping their powder dry for that part. I am most worried about this error.

    I could go on ad naseum about this stuff, but this isn't the best place.
    Last edited by pedalAZ; 05-12-2004 at 03:24 PM.

  3. #3
    Steep Hill
    Reputation: AZClydesdale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,486

    Purpose of the AZSLT

    Thanks for clearing up my AZ land trust questions and your other insights into the candidates!

    S
    ** Obey gravity. It's the law. **

  4. #4
    Occidental Tourist
    Reputation: YuriB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,563

    I'll second

    your comments on Mark Winkelman - that department has been notorious for leasing state trust land to ranchers at well below market value and thus esentially cheating schools out of any decent amount of interest that could have been generated from fair market value. I don't know how common or widespread the practice still is but at least Winkleman is getting developers to pay.....
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  5. #5
    Skinny legged XC geek
    Reputation: pedalAZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    247

    Whoa there, Hoss

    Quote Originally Posted by crash test dummy
    your comments on Mark Winkelman - that department has been notorious for leasing state trust land to ranchers at well below market value and thus esentially cheating schools out of any decent amount of interest that could have been generated from fair market value. I don't know how common or widespread the practice still is but at least Winkleman is getting developers to pay.....
    ASLD grazing fees are stuck where they are essentially because their lands suitable for grazing are generally checkerboarded in a mix with federal and private lands, and the fence lines don't respect the arbitrary ownership boundaries, but rather ridgelines, drainages, etc. If either the state or the BLM/Forest Service hiked their fees all at once, the rancher goes bust and the other landlord gets nothing. If both the state and the feds hike their fees all at once, the ranchers go bust, but the ranchers usually still own the deeded land where all the water is developed, thus the value of the grazing land to the next guy is no more affordable than it was to the rancher who got put out of business. So, the whole industry is in limbo waiting for the environmentalists to come up with another threatened owl or something, and push the public lands ranching industry over the edge.

    It would be fine with me if the environmental groups would be willing to pay the grazing fee AND buy out the ranchers, but they don't want to do that. They just want to persuade the government to regulate the rancher out of existence so the enviromentalists' money can be used for salaries, more litigation, etc., instead of simply being the ones who put their money where their mouths are and become the dominant economic users of the land.

    Besides, even if grazing fees were quadrupled statewide, that incremental revenue is almost nothing compared to the proceeds from one good urban land sale.

    Yeah, there are foolish ranchers who don't practice good range management, just like there are bad mountain bikers who leave trash on the trails and skid around corners, etc. There are also plenty of decent, hard working ranchers who run cattle on public land using good range management practices, who employ people, pay grazing fees, income taxes, property taxes, etc., and who ought to be able to conduct their business. The water they pump or store for the cattle also waters the wildlife.

    I guess my family history is showing. I keep asking myself why so many mountain bikers are hostile to ranchers. It doesn't seem right that an entire industry should be run off, just so we can go ride our bikes in the wide open spaces (that we can already ride in), but the government loses fees, taxes, jobs, etc. when putting the rancher out.

  6. #6
    Occidental Tourist
    Reputation: YuriB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,563
    Quote Originally Posted by pedalAZ
    It would be fine with me if the environmental groups would be willing to pay the grazing fee AND buy out the ranchers, but they don't want to do that. They just want to persuade the government to regulate the rancher out of existence so the enviromentalists' money can be used for salaries, more litigation, etc., instead of simply being the ones who put their money where their mouths are and become the dominant economic users of the land..
    That's not necessarily true - they have also blocked attempts by enviro. groups to lease some land parcels. Interestingly enough I also have a strong rancing background in my family (we still have a ranch outside of Santa Fe) and the biggest problem we have is developers (not enviromental groups) buying up the grazing land or shutting of access to pastures that are leased through the state. For many ranchers, ranching is essentaily a hobby - I certainly don't know very many ranchers who aren't wealthy in their own right. So when they complain that they can't afford to ranch any longer - I take it with a shaker of salt. My grandparents have been great land stewards and actually restored habitat and helped bring back the pronghorn antelope population in their pastures. But you're right there are bad ranchers just like there are bad mtn bikers but a rut on a trail doesn't compare to overgrazing and destroying habitat.
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.