Land Use Predictors Affecting Land Disturbance in Exurban Arivaca, Arizona
AuthorRegan, John Joseph Jr.
land use disturbance
Arid Lands Resource Sciences
AdvisorHutchinson, Charles F.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractExurbanization is occurring where large tracts of land are being sold to developers. Typically these are ranches that are then divided into 40-acre parcels and sold by developers, avoiding subdivision regulations requiring paved streets, utilities and other amenities. The result is an unplanned subdivision with no infrastructure, and tax revenues that cannot offset the cost of providing it. Interviews with professional planners suggested there may be independent variables capable of predicting the amount of human disturbance in an exurban area: parcel size, full cash value, tenure, distance to paved roads, site-built housing, mobile homes, and presence of biological or riparian areas. A total of 7,465 acres (3,022 ha) of parcel disturbance were digitized in exurban Arivaca, acreage values were converted to a binary dependent variable and used in logistic regression analysis to test independent variables' predictive value. Four were statistically significant: parcel size, full cash value, mobile homes and site-built housing. Landscape fragmentation was also tested using the presence of the variable scoring highest in probability - site-built housing. Zones of influence with a negative ecological influence surrounded the homes - up to 5,055 acres (2,046 ha) were impacted. Interviews with an exemplary sample of residents regarding their land use ethic found all had very strong opinions on how their properties should be treated as well as undesirable land uses such as overgrazing, over-use of groundwater for short-term economic gain and use of off-road vehicles. An explanation of the small sample size of both planners and residents is warranted. Planners were limited to those working in Pima County government who had professional experience with the study area of Arivaca and were familiar with its particular situation. The number of Arivaca residents interviewed was intended to discern an exemplary group's opinions based on how large a parcel they owned, the various sizes being a typical cross-section of acreage in the study area. What these findings illustrate is (1) the difficulty of predicting human-induced disturbance, (2) land fragmentation is more than the actual areas of physical disturbance and (3) some residents are aware of impacts related to their activities, mitigating damage wherever possible.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Arid Lands Resource Sciences