The Nature Conservancy is donating to Pima County for conservation 151 acres of Bear Canyon property once cherished and protected by a local teacher.
The donation is subject to approval of the Pima County Board of Supervisors and is on its May 15 meeting agenda.
Jack Segurson, a long-time Tucson teacher and nature enthusiast who died in 2008 at age 90, deeded the property to The Nature Conservancy to keep it protected forever.
“Pima County ownership is consistent with Jack’s wishes and makes sense from a management perspective,” says Holly Richter, the Conservancy’s Arizona director of conservation. “The county manages open space next to the Segurson property. We know the county will take good care of this special place, too.”
Bear Creek runs through the property, which is about a half-mile northeast of the creek’s confluence with Sabino Creek and about one-third mile south of the Bear Canyon trailhead that leads to Seven Falls. Its northern boundary abuts Coronado National Forest’s Sabino Canyon Recreation Area.
Cottonwood trees line the creek, and saguaros, chollas and prickly pears dot the property’s slopes. Deer, mountains lions, ringtail cats and lowland leopard frogs are at home there.
The property will be managed as open space by the Pima County Regional Flood Control District, which owns and manages other lands along Bear Canyon and Sabino Canyon, as part of its riparian habitat and upper watershed preservation program.
“In addition to the property’s proximity to other District and public lands, the rare water resources such as springs, a frequently flowing Bear Canyon Wash, and presence of
shallow groundwater really make this parcel an ideal riparian habitat acquisition,” said District Director Suzanne Shields.
Segurson, who had been a wrestling and swimming coach and teacher at Catalina and Amphitheater high schools, bought the property more than 50 years ago.
"Pima County is delighted to receive this gift from Mr. Segurson and the Nature Conservancy,” said Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry. "The Bear Canyon land will be managed consistent with the values expressed in our Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan. These values benefit all of Pima County by protecting and maintaining riparian ecosystems for present and future generations.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.