AZ Daily Sun • October 30, 2012 • by Joe Ferguson
The city of Flagstaff’s plans to buy and preserve hundreds of acres at Picture Canyon came to fruition this morning when the State Land Department accepted the city’s $4.8 million bid at auction.
City Manager Kevin Burke offered the sole bid for the 480 acres. The state agency deemed the culturally significant riparian habitat suitable for conservation purposes, thus lowering the minimum asking price to $10,000 an acre.
The city will use a $2.4 million grant from the Arizona State Parks Department and money remaining from a voter-approved 2004 open space bond to cover the purchase price.
City Councilmember Celia Barotz said the purchase of Picture Canyon for preservation has been a goal of hers for more than two years.
“This acquisition is a true testament to the vision and tenacity of the group of Flagstaff residents who years ago imagined that Picture Canyon could one day be permanently protected. I am thrilled that the City Council has authorized the use of 2004 open space bonds to complete this long-awaited purchase and will make this unique historical, cultural, archaeological, recreational and educational resource available for present and future generations to enjoy,” said Barotz.