Carla and Greg Woodall not the whole story

  Dear HCN,

The July 30 front-page piece titled, "Not in our backyard" was well-written and informative, except for one important detail: It gave the reader the impression that Greg Woodall and his sister, Carla, invented the campaign to preserve Scottsdale's McDowell Mountains and are practically doing it by themselves. That isn't the case.

Greg and Carla were part of the second wave of activists fighting for preservation of the McDowells. When the McDowell Sonoran Land Trust (MSLT) was first organized, I sat on the original steering committee, then became one of its incorporators in 1991, along with Jane Rau and Karen Bertiger. Greg and Carla were not part of the original group that founded, organized and initially funded MSLT.

In 1993, members of MSLT and others finally convinced the City of Scottsdale that much of the land in the McDowells would have to be purchased with public funds in order to be saved. The city created a preservation task force and then a commission to identify lands and acquisition strategies. A core group of about 10 to 15 individuals (including Greg, Carla and myself) served on the task force and commission and its committees.

When the city created a resolution for a vote on public funding in 1995, many of us also served on the Save Our McDowells election committee. We won the election and, as a result, there is now a 0.2 percent sales tax to fund purchases for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

It's true that Greg and Carla have done a great job over the years, especially in rallying support to expand the preserve. But, even in this effort, they are only the tip of the iceberg.

Pete Chasar
Brookings, Oregon

The writer is past chair of McDowell Sonoran Land Trust.

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