Lands package contains key priorities for Arizona championed by Sinema
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema released the following statement after the Senate began debate on a package of public lands bills, which contains key priorities for Arizona championed by Sinema:
“This package includes priorities that will create Arizona jobs and protect our public lands. We have been working to get this done for years, and today’s Senate action is a promising next step.”
The public lands legislation that the Senate began to debate today includes bipartisan legislation previously led by Sinema affecting La Paz County, Arizona—a county in Western Arizona defined by the Colorado River, the vast Arizona desert, and a massive federal footprint. This bipartisan bill helps facilitate a land transfer from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to the County. Specifically, it directs the Secretary of the Interior to convey 8,800 acres of Federal Land to La Paz County for the purposes of economic development opportunities and facilitating renewable electricity generation.
The Cottonwood Land Exchange—also previously championed by Sinema—would swap 83 acres of Forest Service land to Yavapai County in exchange for 369 acres of county-owned inholding Coconino National Forest, and is also included in the bill.
The Black Mountain Range and Bullhead City Land Exchange Act is included in the bill as well. It allows Bullhead City to acquire up to 345 acres of federal land on or near the Colorado River, known as Section 12, currently owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, in exchange for 1,100 acres of property in the Black Mountain Range northeast of Bullhead City. Sinema was an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Black Mountain Range and Bullhead City Land Exchange Act of 2018 in the House.
The public lands bill also includes legislation addressing the Udall Park Land Exchange and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Land Conveyance, among others.