Catalina State Park

Guide to the Geology of Catalina State Park

The Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) has just published A Guide to the Geology of Catalina State Park and the western Santa Catalina Mountains as a free, downloadable, 56-page book. This is part of the AZGS “Down-to-Earth” series. The guide contains six maps, 21 geologic features and 30+ photographs and illustrations that describe and illustrate the geology and geologic setting of Catalina State Park.

This book is written for the visitor who has an interest in geology, but may not have had formal training in the subject. It may also help ensure that the visiting geologist does not overlook some of the features described.

“The purpose of the field guide is to provide the reader with an understanding of the dynamic processes that have shaped this exceptional landscape. Many of the features discussed in the text will be encountered again and again as you continue to explore the Southwest. We hope that your experience at Catalina State Park and the Coronado National Forest will enhance the pleasure of those explorations.”

The value of this guide is that you learn about what may look to the untrained eye like ordinary features, maybe just a pile of rocks, but each feature has a story that bears on the geology of the region and provides you with a better appreciation of geological forces that shape our land.

Here is a map of the area covered:


Other publications in the AZGS series can be found here.


Is Pima County Park Plan Legal?

Pima County wants to change the use of voter approved bond money.  According to the Arizona Daily Star (see story), “Bond money approved by voters for the expansion of Catalina State Park likely will be used instead to buy land to add to a different park.”

Can the County legally take this bond money and put it to another use?  If a similar precedent rules, then the answer is no.

The Cave Creek School District wanted to redirect $13 million in bond money approved for new school construction to other projects not voter approved.  The Goldwater Institute sued on behalf of District taxpayers.  A Superior Court Judge ruled that school districts may not use bond money for projects that voters have not approved. (See more here.)

From my reading of the Star’s story on Catalina State Park bonds, Pima County is contemplating what amounts to the same thing as the Cave Creek case, which means Pima County may be embarking on an illegal activity.  Such action could cost taxpayers money to defend any lawsuits that may arise.

That’s my take on this proposal, but I’m not a lawyer.  What do you think?