AZ Public Lands Bill Watch

HB 2021

This bill would require the holder of a conservation easement to make an annual payment in place of taxes on the reduction of value of the original parcel caused by the placement of the conservation easement.

HB 2022

This bill would require the holder of a conservation easement to maintain the property free of noxious weeds that are a threat to health or safety.

HB2021 and HB2022 are an attempt to dissuade conservation easements through inconvenience and complexity and they ignore that conservation easements are the cornerstone of conservation collaborations between conservation nonprofits and state agencies like our Arizona Game and Fish Department and private land owners. If these bills had been in place, the pronghorn recovery efforts led by the Arizona Antelope Foundation in southeast Arizona would not have been possible.

HB 2376

This bill would require approval from the legislature and governor for any sale of land (private or public) that pays state, county, and municipal taxes to the federal government.

HB 2377

This bill mandates that the state auditor general shall conduct and complete a cost study of the annual price to manage all federal land in this state. The study assumes that all federal land (except for lands managed by the Department of Defense or the Bureau of Reclamation) is given to the state at no cost.

HCM 2004

This resolution calls for the federal government to give land or payments to counties or the state whenever the federal government acquires or withdraws access to acres of federal public land.

HCM 2006

Calls for Congress to enact legislation that requires the express authorization of Congress, the state, and each county affected before any additional federal land may be declared in Arizona.

HB2376, HB2377, HCM2004, and HCM2006 ignore the economic benefits of public lands and view them only through the myopic lens of property taxes. Arizona’s public lands support a 12-billion-dollar outdoor recreation economy and provide over 106,000 direct jobs.

HCM 2007

Urges the President to repeal the recent designation of the Grand Canyon Footprints National Monument in Northern Arizona and oppose any such designation in the state of Arizona in the future.

HCM 2008

Calls for the Antiquities Act of 1906 to be repealed or amended to reaffirm that entire landscapes, animate life, such as birds and mammals, and common plants and vegetation are not considered “landmarks, structures, or objects” under federal law. In 1950, Congress amended the Antiquities Act to provide an exemption for the state of Wyoming, which requires the “express authorization of Congress” to declare any additional national monuments in that state. HCM 2008 calls on Congress and the President to extend the exemption to all Western States.

HCM2007 and HCM2008 call to repeal the newly designated Grand Canyon Footprints National Monument (which explicitly calls out hunting and angling as activities to be protected) and the Antiquities Act that was used to create it. If these resolutions were to come to fruition, it would leave Arizona’s greatest wilderness and one of the world’s finest mule deer herds without protection from the consequences and habitat fragmentation of uranium mining and energy development like solar and wind farms. Further, repealing the Antiquities Act, which has been used by eighteen past presidents (nine Republicans and nine Democrats) would leave us without a powerful tool in the effort to conserve our wildlife and habitat for future generations.

HCM 2005

This resolution urges Congress and the President to pass and sign legislation transferring 30% of federally protected public lands to their respective states by 2030.

HCM2005 is a misguided rebuttal to the 30X30 Initiative. The 30X30 initiative is no threat to Arizona’s private land owners and is not an attempt to obtain more federal lands in our state. It’s rather an initiative that aims to conserve 30% of our nation’s wild places. An attempt to transfer 30% of our lands — the same lands that we hunt and fish on — to the state that is mandated to profit from them can only be seen as an outright attack on, and complete disregard for, Arizona’s hunting and angling community.

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