Sonoran Desert's Visionary Conservation Leader Passes
Office of External Affairs
November 10, 2009
A driving force behind one of the Nation's most successful community conservation plans has died. Maeveen Behan was a key architect of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, which includes 3 million acres of land in Pima County, Arizona, including the city of Tucson, and surrounding communities.

The conservation plan, initiated by the citizens of Pima County and sustained by Dr. Behan's efforts, is unique in that it was among the first collaborative efforts to bring together ranchers, builders, businesses, environmental groups, citizens and state and federal agencies to conserve southern Arizona's unique cultural, historic, and natural resources, while still providing for continued sustainable economic activity in the region.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been a partner in the planning process for the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, which resulted in the development of the reserve system, renamed the Maeveen Marie Behan Conservation Lands System on the day of her death. Pima County Board of Supervisors Chairman Richard Elias shared his thoughts about Dr. Behan. Also, below is an excerpt of 2008 interviews with Pima County citizens, including Dr. Behan, in which they shared thoughts about the goals and process of bringing the Pima County
Maeveen Behan. Credit: USFWS
Maeveen Behan. Credit: USFWS


Last updated: November 10, 2009
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