Sinema Backs Bill Boosting Gila County’s Economy and Supporting Arizona Veterans by Transferring Ownership of National Forest System Land

Apr 17, 2023

Transfer of ownership would allow Gila County to use the land for a veterans retreat and community center

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored legislation with Arizona Senator Mark Kelly directing the U.S. Forest Service to transfer over 232 acres of National Forest System land located in the Tonto National Forest to Gila County. Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House by Republican Arizona Congressman Eli Crane.
“Transferring this land to Gila County boosts the economy and opens the door for new veterans support services in the region. I’ll keep working to create a healthy Arizona economy and ensure veterans get the support and benefits they’ve earned,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs’ Committee.
Sinema’s legislation supports Gila County’s existing plans by transferring an underutilized Forest Service ranger station near Young, known as the Pleasant Valley Administrative Site, and the accompanying 232.9 acres of Forest Service land to the county to use as a veterans’ center for retreats, events, and to host a VA mobile clinic.
At the Senator’s Rural Development Working Group launch, Gila County Supervisor Woody Cline presented Sinema with a framed copper splash in appreciation for her support of the Pleasant Valley Veterans Retreat Project.
The FS Pleasant Valley (PV) Administration Site consists of 17 buildings, some of which are on the National Registry of Historic Places (NRHP), and associated acreage. The PV Administration Site is no longer occupied by the National Forest Service. All administrative functions for the Pleasant Valley Ranger District are located in Young, Arizona, and the ranger station was relocated to Payson, Arizona. If the land is conveyed to Gila County, the buildings listed in the NRHP will be removed from the registry.