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Land Trust Alliance Honors McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Co-Founder Jane Rau

For Immediate Release
August 11, 2008


Contact: Linda Raish
McDowell Sonoran Conservancy
Phone: (480) 488-4693


National Volunteer of the Year Award to be presented in September

Scottsdale, AZ - Every year, one volunteer is selected to receive the prestigious National Conservation Volunteer of the Year Award for making a significant contribution to the advancement of land conservation.  Jane Rau, 45 year Scottsdale, Arizona resident, beloved conservation activist, and co-founder of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, has been selected to receive the honor in 2008.

The National Conservation Volunteer of the Year Award is sponsored by the Land Trust Alliance, an organization dedicated to saving the places people love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance has worked for more than 25 years with the national land conservation community - comprised of millions of dedicated land conservation professionals, volunteers and supporters - to quickly, effectively and permanently save our most valued natural places across America.
The Land Trust Alliance honors the innovative work of member land trusts and land conservationists across the nation through annual awards. Jane will receive her award at the Land Trust Alliance’s Annual Rally in September.  Rand Wentworth, Land Trust Alliance President, says that Jane’s “leadership and contributions to the land trust community are an inspiration to us all. “

Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross supported the nomination, stating “The City of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve would not be a reality today if not for Jane’s efforts dating back to the early 1980’s.  Through Jane’s extraordinary grassroots effort and passion for preservation, she began a dialogue that served as a foundation for what is today an amazing community asset which will benefit generations to come.”

Through Jane’s activism and unending enthusiasm for the conservation of Arizona’s open space, thousands of acres of urban land will not be developed.  This not only impacts all citizens of Arizona now, but will impact generations of Arizona citizens in perpetuity.  Her foresight and unwavering determination has helped to create a living treasure to be enjoyed by young and old alike. Co-founder, Master Steward and Lifetime Board Member of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, Jane celebrated her 86th birthday working in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

While no one person can be credited with what is now the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Jane has been called “the burr under Scottsdale’s saddle” for her work in advocating for conservation. 
She has successfully influenced public officials, community opinion and the private sector to help establish this regional open space system for the preservation of flora, fauna, archaeological and historical resources, with appropriate public access. She created consensus in the most difficult circumstances and created partnerships where none had existed before. She has worked tirelessly for 40 years to maintain the Arizona she fell in love with when she settled north of Dynamite Road in 1967.

About McDowell Sonoran Conservancy
Since its founding in 1990, the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy has championed the need for, establishment of, and safe public access to Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve.   The Conservancy works with the City of Scottsdale to: ensure completion, management and public appreciation of the Preserve; educate residents and visitors about the Preserve’s environmental and archaeological significance; ensure the public has appropriate access to the land they have repeatedly voted to protect.

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy envisions the completion of the Preserve at a size of 36,400 acres, or 57 square miles, which would protect as natural, open space nearly one-third of Scottsdale’s 185-square-miles.

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