We do not inherit the
earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from
our children.
- Native American Wisdom

Tucson Basin

The Tucson Basin is one of the fastest growing urban areas in the United States -- approximately 10 square miles of desert are lost to development each year.

Tucson has the distinction of being the only large city in the U.S. that is literally situated in the middle of a national park.  This unique juxtaposition of the city and the Park offers tremendous recreation and quality of life benefits for the entire region, yet it also creates serious challenges.

Habitat fragmentation . . . human/wildlife interactions . . . and isolation of Park habitats due to an expanding urban population (and increasing residential growth along Park boundaries) . . . are threatening the overall health and stability of vulnerable species at Saguaro National Park -- and ultimately threatening the overall health and stability of the entire ecoregion.

The biological diversity and ecological processes of Saguaro National Park -- remarkable due to the range of elevation and mix of riparian and desert habitats -- are increasingly jeopardized by the habitat fragmentation caused by expanding urban development.

The major challenge facing the National Park Service is determining how to meet the needs of a growing population, anxious to recreate in one of America's premier desert parks, while also preserving important park "values", such as natural quiet, starry skies, and native plants and animals.