Conserving land in built-up and urban areas can be fiendishly complicated. Land is expensive, and the real estate work involved can be arduous.
Anyone who has ever purchased one house will understand how much is involved to acquire 23 acres, transfer nearly half the land to a city as publically owned open space, help fund the deal by selling two parcels to conservation buyers with easements that stipulate how the land can be used, and then transfer those easements to a local land trust for permanent stewardship. Not to mention raising nearly $1.3 million in private donations to make the $3.2 million deal happen, in a campaign that is still very much underway.
A story by Julie Ann Grimm in today’s Santa Fe New Mexican has TPL New Mexico state director Jenny Parks displaying a 2-inch stack of paperwork for this deal, and my guess is that this is for only the first step in the series of transactions.
Land in the Sun Mountain foothills will be largely protected from development and trails to the summit will stay open to the public under a deal coming together on Santa Fe’s east side.
The Trust for Public Land signed contracts late Wednesday and paid a nonrefundable deposit to buy about 23 acres that had been proposed for the Mirasol subdivision. The same night, the City Council accepted nearly half the land as publicly owned open space.