Desert Foothills Land Trust and North Country Conservancy
Announce Merger of Conservation Efforts
for Daisy Mountain and the North Valley
(Phoenix/New River/Cave Creek) – The North Country Conservancy (NCC) has merged its mission, non-monetary assets, and preservation efforts with the Desert Foothills Land Trust (DFLT), bringing the resources of the two land trust groups together to protect our area's Sonoran Desert treasures.
NCC was founded more than a decade ago with the focus of preserving the State Trust lands known as Daisy Mountain. They have also worked to advance a trail system for the mountain to promote connectivity with the public. In updating NCC's strategic plan, the board members saw an opportunity to merge with DFLT and voted unanimously to approve the plan of merger as the best way to build on their extensive efforts. "We believe Desert Foothills Land Trust will be the most appropriate steward of our efforts," says NCC Chairman, Frank Grimmelmann. North Country Conservancy’s Executive Director, Ann Hutchinson, is joining the DFLT board of directors to promote continuity with the local community and efforts to protect Daisy Mountain.
"We are pleased to be able to partner with leaders and supporters of North County Conservancy in order to continue their crucial land conservation efforts in the area" says DFLT executive director Sonia Perillo.
Founded in 1991, the Desert Foothills Land Trust has worked to acquire and permanently protect important conservation lands in the Sonoran Desert. The DFLT currently protects and manages over 660 acres on 21 preserves in the Desert Foothills area. One of their first acquisitions in 1994 was the New River Nature Preserve, which protects significant riparian habitat just north of the I-17/New River exit. This preserve, as well as several others, is open for public exploration and recreational use, connecting people with the land that the Land Trust protects.
DFLT will also be working in an advisory role with the Daisy Mountain Trails Coalition to build on NCC's vision of a trail system. The coalition consists of community leaders and concerned residents from the Anthem, New River, Desert Hills, and Phoenix area. They are in the process of forming their strategic plan and will have an announcement to make in the near future as to how the citizens will be able to get involved with this project.
In addition to planning for its non-monetary assets, NCC is making a restricted donation to The Nature Conservancy to advance work on state trust land issues. “It was important to the NCC board to make this restricted donation separately, as these are funds that had been raised as part of our State Trust Land Reform project. As such, we wanted to honor the will of the donors in making this contribution to TNC.” advised NCC Treasurer, Shareen Goodroad.
The Kiwanis Club of New River will be the beneficiary of NCC's remaining funds. As part of a restricted monetary grant agreement, the New River Kiwanis will disburse these funds to be used for grant purposes on qualified projects that preserve Daisy Mountain’s natural resources, open spaces, wildlife habitat, and historic or geologic features for the enjoyment of current and future generations. The New River Kiwanis also agreed to make reasonable efforts to raise matching funds when used in conjunction with a qualified disbursement of these funds.
“North Country Conservancy’s mission to save Daisy Mountain is crucial to preserving the quality of life in the local community and ensuring public access to these lands in the future. This merger with DFLT will result in a more diversified organization uniquely positioned to raise the level of support and awareness for conservation efforts in the region, and the partnerships we have built over the last ten years will continue," says Grimmelmann.
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