$1 Million Pledge for Sun Mountain Conservation Effort (NM

SANTA FE, N.M, July 23, 2009: The effort to protect the 23-acre Watson property at the base of Sun Mountain, one of the Santa Fe’s most beautiful and revered mountains and an icon of the city, received a $1 million pledge gift today, the Save Sun Mountain Coalition (SSM) and The Trust for Public Land (TPL) announced.

Sun Mountain is a pristine stretch of undisturbed native landscape and wildlife habitat within Santa Fe city limits, but approval of a development of up to 26 structures on the property threatened to interrupt Santa Fe’s prized scenic backdrop.

The purchase price for the 23-acre Watson property is $3.2 million. An anonymous conservation buyer has agreed to purchase less than half of the acreage and dedicate public trail access to the City as well as limit development on the property. With the pledge of $1,000,000 and the other money the SSM and TPL have raised, the group now has $2.5 million raised and only needs $700,000 to reach its goal by August 17th. All of the above gifts and pledges are contingent upon TPL and the SSM’s successful completion of the transaction.

To date, more than 2,800 citizens from all parts of Santa Fe have signed a petition to save the New Mexico icon.

“We are thrilled with this gift from an anonymous Santa Fe donor and are deeply thankful for the donor’s generosity. This gift gives the effort a huge step forward and makes success a real possibility. We hope all of Santa Fe’s citizens will help preserve beautiful Sun Mountain for Santa Fe’s future generations. With your help, we will succeed,” said Jenny Parks, New Mexico state director. “As the City of Santa Fe approaches its 400th anniversary, we hope to celebrate by preserving this acreage on Sun Mountain for Santa Fe citizens. A treasured piece of Santa Fe’s past can now be part of Santa Fe’s future.”

A legacy gift for Sun Mountain can be made to:
The Trust for Public Land
New Mexico State Office
Attn: Dale Snyder
1600 Lena Street, Suite C
Santa Fe, NM 87505

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization dedicated to conserving land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Founded in 1972, TPL has protected 2.5 million acres nationwide. TPL has had an office in Santa Fe, New Mexico since 1982, preserving more than 150,000 acres of treasured landscapes across the state. Most recently, TPL-New Mexico built the Rail yard Park and Plaza in Santa Fe.

The Save Sun Mountain Coalition is a group of concerned local citizens who are dedicated to seeking a conservation solution to the preservation of the 23-acre property on Sun Mountain. For more information, please go to their website at www.savesunmountain.com