Message from AZ Heritage Alliance President – Jim McPherson

Dear Members, Friends, and Supporters of the Arizona Heritage Alliance,

Celebrating a Decade of Achievement

Together, over the past decade, the Arizona Heritage Alliance has helped return the Arizona State ParksJim McPherson, Vice President, Phoenix Heritage Fund to its rightful place to benefit Arizona. With the support of thousands of community allies and dozens of legislative champions, the State Parks Heritage Fund was reinstated into statute in 2019. Over the past three fiscal years, millions of dollars have been appropriated in the following categories:

  • 50% for local, regional, and state parks
  • 30% for local, regional, and state historic preservation
  • 10% for local, regional, and state non-motorized trails
  • 10% for outdoor/environmental education

A full list with photos of the projects can be reviewed and downloaded at by clicking here.

Looking Ahead: Overcoming Setbacks and Continuing the Fight

We were disappointed by the narrow defeat of Senate Concurrent Resolution 1038 in March of this year. Despite positive bipartisan support in legislative committees in both the State Senate and the State House of Representatives, the resolution was defeated by one vote in the full State Senate due to political considerations outside our control. Nonetheless, we remain committed to securing funding for the State Parks Heritage Fund in fiscal year 2025. Please look for the call to action further down in this newsletter to see how you can help us.

Celebrating New Developments

Rockin’ River Ranch State ParkWe are delighted about the opening of the Rockin’ River Ranch State Park and the naming of one of its trails after our long-time executive director and past board president, Janice Miano. Our heartfelt thanks go to Arizona Heritage Alliance board member Sam Campana and Arizona State Parks & Trails (ASPT) Director Bob Broscheid for facilitating this recognition and trail naming.

New State Park: We are thrilled about the protection of 734 acres, now owned by ASPT, in partnership with Trust for Public Land, Yavapai County, Nature Conservancy, and the Town of Chino Valley. This new state park will connect people to the outdoors, protect Sullivan Lake at the start of the Verde River, enable the extension of the Peavine National Recreation Trail from Prescott to the river, and preserve important historical sites. ASPT plans to develop its newest park on this newly acquired land, offering additional outdoor recreation opportunities in north-central Arizona.

Encouraging Participation

We support ASPT’s launch of their 2025 Trails Plan public survey. Every five years, the agency seeks public input on trail use, preferences, opinions, and important issues facing recreational trails and off-highway vehicle routes in Arizona. Your feedback is invaluable for future trail-related decisions, planning, and projects. We encourage you to participate in the survey [here](

In Memoriam

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Meeks, a past board member of the Arizona Heritage Alliance and Arizona State Parks Foundation. His contributions were invaluable, and he will be greatly missed.

Our Ongoing Commitment

The Arizona Heritage Alliance continues to raise awareness of the Arizona Heritage Fund, encompassing both the State Parks Heritage Fund and the Arizona Game & Fish Heritage Fund. We will keep you informed about Arizona’s natural, cultural, and historic resources through our website, social media channels, and newsletters. We encourage you to engage with the information we share for the benefit of your community.

Our Activities and Partnerships

We remain active in the following areas:

  • Attending (virtually) State Parks Board meetings to support projects aligned with the goals of the State Parks Heritage Fund and advocating for policies to protect our state park assets.
  • Strengthening and expanding partnerships with the Arizona Preservation Foundation, local preservation groups, National Trust for Historic Preservation, League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Arizona Parks and Recreation Association, Arizona Forward, Arizona Trails Association, and related organizations.
  • Maintaining robust communication and outreach through our web presence, Facebook page, e-alerts, quarterly newsletter, and one-on-one meetings.

Thanking Our Supporters

We are grateful to elected officials in our cities, towns, counties, and tribal areas, stakeholder partners, and friends from all corners of Arizona for the significant progress made over the past couple of years. Special thanks to our state legislative champions who have sponsored or co-sponsored bills since 2019: Alston, Andrade, Blackman, Bowers, Bowie, Boyer, Bradley, Brophy McGee, Carbone, Carter, Chávez, Contreras, Cook, Dalessandro, De Los Santos, Diaz, Dunn, Engel, Gabaldon, Gonzales, Hatathlie, A. Hernandez, M. Hernandez, Jermaine, Kerr, Lieberman, Longdon, Marsh, Mathis, Mendez, Navarrete, Nutt, Osborne, Otondo, Peshlakai, Pratt, Quezada, Rios, Salman, Shope, Stahl Hamilton, Steele, Sun, Teller, Terán, Travers, and Tsosie.

Call to Action

We have proven that we can achieve our goals, and we look forward to accomplishing even more. However, we need your help, especially now, as we work to resolve the significant state budget shortfall. We cannot afford to lose ground without an appropriation in the upcoming fiscal year and eventually full funding via the Arizona Lottery, the original funding source of the State Parks Heritage Fund before the Great Recession.

All gifts, large or small, will make a significant difference in supporting the Arizona Heritage Alliance’s mission and ensuring the State Parks Heritage Fund is fully restored. Your membership can be mailed directly to the Arizona Heritage Alliance, P.O. Box 16282, Phoenix, AZ 85011, online at, or if needed, we can send an invoice. Thank you for your past generosity and assistance. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, comments, or ideas at or 602-528-7500.

Thank you for your continued support.

Warm regards,

Jim McPherson
Board President, Arizona Heritage Alliance

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