WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a public lands package that passed the Senate two weeks ago. The lands package includes several Arizona priorities Sinema has long championed and will now head to the president for his signature:
“Today’s passage of the lands package in the U.S. House, after years of hard work, moves us another step closer to creating jobs across Arizona and protecting our public lands for future generations.”
The public lands legislation, which passed the Senate on February 12th and passed the U.S. House 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—will swap 83 acres of Forest Service land to Yavapai County in exchange for 369 acres of county-owned inholding in 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 Land and Water Conservation Fund, which Sinema has long led on, is permanently reauthorized through this legislation.
The public lands bill also includes legislation addressing the Udall Park Land Exchange and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Land Conveyance, among others.