Scottsdale's successful bid at a state land auction will add more than three square miles to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
The city was the only bidder on the parcel at Tuesday's auction.
The bid was more than $21 million, with about $8 million of that coming from a state trust land acquisition grant approved by the Arizona State Parks Board in September.
Officials say the rest of the money will come from revenue generated by two sales taxes approved by Scottsdale voters in 1995 and 2004.
Mayor Jim Lane said the ability to acquire the land is a testament to the community's vision.
The preserve now encompasses more than 47 square miles. That's closer to the city's long-term goal of preserving about 53 square miles.
Preserving these lands protects the main ridgeline of the McDowell Mountains and expands the land area of an important wildlife corridor connected to nearly 3 million acres of Tonto National Forest.
The preserved land acquired includes the majority of ridgeline in the southern McDowell Mountains. It's an area that features steep slopes, exposed bedrock, boulder outcrops and lush upper Sonoran Desert vegetation.
The upper watersheds of Lost Dog, Quartz and Taliesin washes run through the land, which is also home to abundant wildlife.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.