The Desert Conservation Commission advises the City Council and assists City staff in the establishment of essential policies, management plans, rules, and regulations relating to the acquisitions, planning, operation, use, care, conservation, restoration, and maintenance of areas, and design of future amenities and facility by the City for use as a preserve. (City Code, Chapter 2, Article V, Division 23; Ordinance No. O2019.47)
The Desert Conservation Commission:
- assists the Community Services Department staff liaison in the development of a continuing plan for the education, outreach, and recreation in preserves;
- assists the Community Services Department and other City departments in establishing priorities at budget time for those items other than administrative functions relating to preserve policy, and forwards recommendations to the City Council;
- identifies potential partnerships with public, private, and nonprofit entities to support and encouraging diverse participation of stakeholders in order to assist with the conservation of the preserve; and,
- receives, accepts, and acquires subject to final action by the City Council by gift, bequest, or devise real and personal property of every kind, nature, and description in the name of the City for preserve purposes subject to the terms of the gift.
The Desert Conservation Commission also serves as a forum for public involvement to assure community input for planning, projects, and issues, and to meet all guidelines for public involvement where applicable.
The Desert Conservation Commission is composed of nine members who shall serve three-year terms for no more than two complete consecutive terms. For Commission member positions where residency is not required, preference will be given to applicants who are Tempe residents or those working in Tempe. Two members shall serve as officers in the capacity of Chair and Vice-Chair. The initial officers of the Commission shall be selected by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council to serve a term commencing at the initiation of the first Commission meeting. Members are from each of the following parts of the community, with no more than two members filling the same category:
- representative from a tribal nation;
- expert in Sonoran Desert flora and fauna;
- representative from a group made up of outdoor recreation enthusiasts;
- expert in issues of water or riparian environments;
- expert in issues of historic or archeological preservation;
- representative from an organization that represents Tempe businesses;
- representative from an academic institution;
- Tempe resident serving on the Parks, Recreation, Golf, and Double Butte Cemetery Advisory Board; and
- Tempe resident, at-large.
The Desert Conservation Commission conducts six regular meetings in a calendar year, with no more than two meetings held in any 30-day period. The Commission has not yet set a regular meeting schedule.