Pima County Cultural Resources and Historic Preservation
COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS CENTER
201 N. STONE AVENUE, 6TH FL.
TUCSON, ARIZONA 85701-1207
Pima County Cultural Resources & Historic Preservation
Pima County is rich in history, cultural diversity, living traditions,
and regional character, all of which define our collective cultural
heritage and community identity, where our Native American, Spanish
Colonial, Mexican, and American traditions intersect with the natural
environment to create a unique, multi-storied cultural landscape.
The Pima County Cultural Resources & Historic Preservation Office
honors this heritage by working to preserve our cultural and historical
properties, including ancestral sites, traditional cultural places,
historic buildings, districts, objects, living traditions, and working
Since the 1970s, Pima County has taken an active position in protecting
our cultural and historic sites through preservation policies, regional
conservation, land-use planning, ordinances, and recently with historic
preservation bonds. All of these efforts have received considerable
public support. The scope of this program has been significantly
expanded to consider the very broadest definition of cultural and
historical resources, including archaeological sites, historic sites
and buildings, traditional cultural places, living traditions, and
working landscapes. To address the full breadth of these heritage
sites and issues, the Cultural Resources & Historic Preservation
Office has developed an award-winning comprehensive set of program
areas that demonstrate Pima County’s vision and commitment
to historic preservation.
Review & Compliance: County Capital Improvement Projects –
County compliance with national, state and local historic preservation
laws and policies for all County sponsored capital improvement and
construction projects, such as River Road, Brandi Fenton Park at
Binghampton, Colossal Cave/ Vail Rd., Justice Courts complex, Tucson
Diversion Channel, CDBG projects, etc. Work with all appropriate
County departments, outside land management and permitting agencies,
consultation with SHPO through IGA or directly, and tribes, as appropriate.
Review & Compliance: Development Services –
sector compliance with County cultural resource policies/ ordinances
for land use and development, such as Swan Southlands, Fairfield
Canoa Ranch, Rancho del Lago, etc. Review Comprehensive Land Use
Plan amendments, rezoning petitions, development and subdivision
plans. Coordinate with appropriate County departments, outside land
management and regulatory agencies, and consultation with SHPO through
our IGA or directly when necessary, and with tribes and other descendant
groups as appropriate.
Open Space Preserves Cultural Resources Management –
and protection of cultural resources protections on existing County
natural area preserves and areas proposed for acquisition, such
as Tucson Mountain Park, Colossal Cave, Ranch Seco, Canoa Ranch,
etc. Records review, sample inventory, preparation of management
plans, preparation of conservation easements, employment of Arizona
Site Stewards on County lands, etc.
Grant Development & Administration –
Identify and procure
supplemental grant funds for inventory, planning, National Register
nominations, historic property acquisition, rehabilitation, and
adaptive reuse of historic properties, such as Anza Trail, Colossal
Cave, Agua Caliente Ranch, Robles Ranch, Joesler Buildings, Tucson
Presidio Exhibit, Ajo Historic District, Courthouse Fountain, etc.
Public Information/Education/Outreach –
tours, brochures, heritage booklets, awards nominations, tax incentives
program, public presentations, etc. Also, provide information to
tribes and descendant groups, attendance at national, state, and
local professional conferences, training, publications, staff advisory
positions to Smithsonian Institute, National Trust for Historic
Preservation, Society for American Archaeology, Tucson-Pima County
Historical Commission, etc.
Historic Preservation Bond Program –
Implementation of ca.
$28 million historic preservation bond funds and grants program for
acquisition, rehabilitation, and interpretation of historical and
archaeological sites throughout Pima County. These properties are
considered “Priority Cultural Resources,” which were
selected as the “last of the best” and for their potential
to provide the greatest public benefit.
Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan –
Development of cultural
resources element and database and numerous technical reports,
as well as a predictive model of cultural resource sensitivity.
Prepare ranching element by amassing data on ranching, preparing
technical reports to define ranching as a land-use, facilitate
ranch conservation through easements and acquisition throughout
Pima County. preparation of analyses and EIS documents, revisions
to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, participation with Steering
Committee, technical advisory teams, Science Commission.
Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area -
Since 2003, develop a
feasibility study for a Congressional designation of the Santa Cruz
Valley National Heritage Area defined by the Santa Cruz River watershed
in Pima and Santa Cruz counties, in partnership with all jurisdictions,
tribes, land management agencies, local business organizations, and
other local community groups. To date, the feasibility study is complete
and a draft bill has been submitted to Congressional members for