Scottsdale allowing tours again on preserve land

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Jeep and SUV operators can resume tours starting Monday in a small swath of Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

The city has granted special-use permits to four tour companies, temporarily allowing guided expeditions in the Granite Mountain area of northeast Scottsdale.

Some preserve advocates still are balking at the potential impact to the desert and an exception to a city ordinance that bans motorized vehicles in the preserve.

For years, the tours were allowed by permit when the state owned the property.

Scottsdale gradually acquired the former trust land, expanding its preserve to 43 square miles.

The city's preserve ordinance outlaws motor vehicles in the preserve and the tours were discontinued June 1.

The Scottsdale City Council agreed to a nine-month trial period at the urging of tourism and tour officials.