2014 Annual Report


25 Years Strong, Shaping Our West

For over 25 years, Sonoran Institute has been a pioneer in efforts to unite and celebrate the best of Western culture, history, nature and urban spaces by making connections, seeking practical solutions and promoting long-term sustainability. View and download our 2014 Annual Report to see all that we've done up through 2014 and what we plan on doing as we move forward.

2040 Vision

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Strategic Framework

For the last 25 years, we have been successfully helping people in the West build the communities they want to live in while preserving the West that brought them here. Discover our vision for our next 25 years. 

Our Letter to You

Read our 2040 Vision 

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 Western Lands and Communities web-based informational resource to support the exchange of ideas surrounding the management of state trust lands.

Browse the new site at:

Home Where We Work Arizona State Trust Lands

State Trust Lands

The State Trust Lands Project initially began as a partnership between the Sonoran Institute and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. It assists state trust land managers in meeting their fiduciary duty in the changing West by broadening the range of land-use information, tools, and policy options available to them and diverse stakeholders for the long-term sustainable management of state trust lands. Read more about the project's goal.

In 2008 the Sun Corridor Legacy Program joined the state trust land efforts. The program has focused on informing Arizona's citizens and legislators on the complex issue of state trust land. Its ultimate goal is to influence policy reform in Arizona.The first successful reform was achieved in November 2012 when Proposition 119, the Arizona State Trust Land Amendment, passed with a 62% yes vote. The amendment will help protect the viability of Arizona's military installations and the critical jobs and economic impact associated with these important state assets. Additionally, it provides the opportunity to conserve important wildlife habitats and generate additional revenue for public schools statewide.

State Trust Land Conservation Profiles

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Profiles of state trust land areas around Arizona that stakeholders have identified as suitable for conservation. These four-page conservation profiles are available to download. Visit the profile page!


State Trust Land Policy Report Series

This series of five policy reports on state trust land was published by Sonoran Institute in early 2011.

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A comprehensive report analyzing the history of state trust land and how the current management regulations keep the Arizona State Land Department from moving into the 21st century.

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A study of the current processes available for state trust land exchanges in Arizona, featuring case studies and recommendations on how to improve the overall process to maximize trust returns and consolidate lands for optimum economic and environmental management.
routes rails and roads final 020311 cover thumbnail A look at options to improve Arizona State Land Department's ability to site transportation infrastructure in advance of development.
wires roads and water cover 97x125 A detailed look at the reasons planning for infrastructure on state trust land in advance of development is necessary and options to make it possible in Arizona.
si solar siting cover thumbnail Examine the strategies that would allow the Arizona State Land Department to capitalize on its extensive land holdings suitable for solar development. 

State Trust Land Project Goal

The project's goal is to enhance the value of the trust for its beneficiaries by fostering better planning and implementation of residential and commercial development on state trust lands and by increasing the amount of state trust land in conservation use.

Working toward these objectives, the project:

  • Conducts research and policy analyses on key issues related to growth and development in the West
  • Develops, implements and highlights innovative or noteworthy approaches to state trust land planning, development and conservation use
  • Provides information and tools to state trust land administrators and key stakeholders
  • Engages in policy efforts to inform discussions on state trust land laws and regulations in key western states

News & Updates


Sonoran Institute's Western Lands and Communities program launched statetrustlands.org in 2012 as the “go to” information source for state trust lands with resources and tools to assist state trust land managers and engaged stakeholders – maps, information about the history and legal theories of state trust lands, individual state trust land summaries, research and policy analyses, tools and publications.  Visit the statetrustlands.org web site.

Read more: News & Updates



“On the Edge” Workshop

Many of the West’s protected public lands were once far from urban centers.  But unprecedented growth, particularly in Arizona and Nevada, has created an abrupt edge between the built environment and some of these lands – including state trust lands.  In January 2008, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy – Sonoran Institute Joint Venture facilitated a workshop to promote better understanding of the urban edge interface.