The unprecedented growth of adjacent cities has pushed houses and urban infrastructure to the very edges of this iconic natural area. There are now serious concerns surrounding the sustainability of the White Tank Mountains and their natural and cultural resources in the possible event that they become completely surrounded by development. Today, more than a dozen master-planned communities are planned on the west and north sides of the White Tank Mountains. Some of the challenges are caused by development and infrastructure that could fill the valley floor and cut off the natural connections that animals in the White Tanks rely upon for forage, migration, and genetic diversity. Moreover, the addition of up to a million new residents around this area could place significant pressure on the resources if access and use are not appropriately managed. These developments have been legally planned and permitted but with careful advocacy and pragmatic efforts, many of the possible impacts from growth can be mitigated and resolved.
It is imperative that West Valley communities prepare today for the likely impacts of this expected growth and establish an organization whose sole mission is to preserve the resources in the mountains for posterity. The White Tank Mountains Conservancy, with a robust advocacy network, volunteer support base, and diverse support from the many entities that surround the mountains, will ensure that the White Tank Mountains are able to safeguard natural and cultural resources, thereby preserving the incredible Sonoran Desert history and their opportunities for education, recreation, and ecological services.