Superstition Area Land Trust’s Goff speaker at Rotary Club of Superstition Mountain

The May 2 Rotary Club of Superstition Mountain speaker was Charlie Goff, president of the Superstition Area Land Trust. S.A.L.T. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational corporation that was formed to protect and preserve Arizona State Trust lands bordering the southern slope of the Superstition Wilderness Area. Charlie told us about the trust’s mission, accomplishments and […]

Speakers series concludes with monarch butterfly study 

Laura Miller, board member of the Southwest Monarch Study project, will present Monarchs and Milkweed Wednesday, April 25, in the final edition of the SALT Speakers Series for the 2017-18 season.  The series is cosponsored by the Superstition Area Land Trust and the Apache Junction Parks and Recreation Department. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. […]

Land trust commissioner updates Apache Junction audience on Arizona issues

The commissioner of the Arizona State Land Trust Department will speak 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, in the Apache Junction Multi-generational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Road. Lisa Atkins will address an audience at the Superstition Area Land Trust Speakers Series, updating her talk of about two years ago on the topic: A New Approach to Management of Arizona State […]

Apache Junction officials thank residents, organizations for donations

Local residents, businesses and organizations that made monetary donations to city programs were thanked at the March 6 meeting of the Apache Junction City Council. “We just want to say to all of the donors, ‘thank you,’” Roger Hacker, sponsorship/partnership programs coordinator for the city of Apache Junction, said. “Every donation – big or small […]

SALT sponsors Lost Goldmine Trail hike

The Superstition Area Land Trust is sponsoring an interpretive guided hike Wednesday, March 14, in the foothills of the Superstition Mountains. Hike leader Bonny Knowlton will lead what is considered an easy 4-mile trek along the Lost Goldmine Trail. “We will be hiking the west end of the Lost Goldmine Trail,” Ms. Knowlton stated in an email. “This will […]

Jim Holway speaks March 14 on Arizona’s water challenges

Will water availability limit future population and economic growth in our desert environment? Jim Holway, director of the new Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, will address that and more at the March 14 SALT Speakers Series event. The talk, co-sponsored by the Superstition Area Land Trust […]

ASU professor Steven Semken speaks about Arizona volcanoes Feb. 28

“Volcanism in Arizona” will be the Feb. 28th talk in the SALT Speakers Series. The series is co-sponsored by the Superstition Area Land Trust and the Apache Junction Parks and Recreation Department. The presentation will be 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday in room B-118 of the Apache Junction Multi-generational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Road. Talks generally […]

Tonight: Birds of the Sonoran Desert topic of SALT lecture by Vera Walters

Did you know that Arizona has more species of hummingbirds and owls than any other state? Do you know the birds that visit your yard? The Jan. 24 Superstition Area Land Trust lecture is an opportunity to learn more about the many unique birds of the Sonoran Desert, especially the ones in your backyard. Our experienced […]

Everything has a value, state land trust commissioner says about property

Lisa Atkins is looking for ways to keep the state’s trust land as pristine and profitable as possible.

Ms. Atkins is the commissioner of the Arizona State Land Department. As such she is responsible for managing and administering 9.2 million acres of state land held in trust for 13 beneficiaries, the largest of which is K-12 education. In fiscal year 2013, trust revenues exceeded $318 million.

More than 100 people attended a meeting March 23 at which Ms. Atkins — the 21st commissioner in the 100-year history of the department — talked about new approaches to managing trust lands and their resources. Her goal is to enhance value and optimize economic return for trust beneficiaries while incorporating effective environmental protection and land conservation practices, according to a press release.

The event was presented by the Superstition Area Land Trust and Apache Junction Parks and Recreation and took place at the Apache Junction Multi-Generational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Road. SALT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational corporation to protect and preserve Arizona State Trust Lands bordering the southern slope of the Superstition Wilderness Area, according to its website.

Ms. Atkins began with an explanation of her department’s history and duties, and concluded with a question-and-answer period.

What is the State Land Department?

On May 20, 1912, an act of Arizona’s first legislature created the State Land Commission to serve as the temporary land department of the state, according to the department’s website. Appointed by Gov. George W. P. Hunt, they were charged with assessing, evaluating and making recommendations about the land granted by congress to the state for the Common Schools (K-12) and other institutions. The commission concluded Arizona should not sell its trust land outright, as other states had done. Instead, it should put the lands to their “highest and best use” and the decision to sell or lease the land should be based upon the potential use of each parcel, according to the website.

State Land Trust Commissioner Atkins to discuss land management

Are you an off-highway vehicle enthusiast using state trust lands? A retiree supporting efforts to conserve our desert open spaces? A family breadwinner seeking better jobs, schools and highways? A developer lured by hundreds of square miles to be sold or leased for its appraised value?

How about an official trying to plan ahead of all the rooftops? Or a homeowner in the Apache Junction/Gold Canyon area who believes your mountain viewscape is protected in perpetuity?

If so, the Superstition Area Land Trust and Apache Junction Parks and Recreation have a not-to-be-missed talk for you.

Lisa Atkins, appointed last June by Gov. Doug Ducey as commissioner of the Arizona State Land Department, will present “A New Approach to Management of Arizona State Trust Lands: The Superstitions and Beyond,” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, in the Apache Junction Multi-Generational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Road.

Ms. Atkins is the 21st commissioner in the 100-year history of the department. She is responsible for managing and administering 9.2 million acres of state land held in trust for 13 beneficiaries, the largest of which is K-12 education.

In fiscal year 2013, trust revenues exceeded $318 million.