2024 Arizona Bill Tracker
The Arizona Wildlife Federation is Your Voice in the Legislature
The Arizona Wildlife Federation was born 100 years ago out of a need to keep politics out of wildlife and public lands management — that hasn't changed. We want to keep you informed, especially when sportsmen's' and other outdoor enthusiast's interests are under attack. When bad bills come up, we work tirelessly in our communications with decision-makers and collaborate closely with other groups and organizations to defeat those bills. But your voice is a particularly powerful one — we need our legislators to hear it.
Check out the bad bills we're tracking in 2024 below.
All of the bills below have been assigned to the House Land, Agricultural, Rural Affairs (LARA) Committee Agenda at their meeting to take place on February 12th, 2024.
HB2021: Primarily Sponsored by AZ Representative Griffin
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.
HB2022: Primarily Sponsored by AZ Representative Griffin
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.
HB2376: Primarily Sponsored by AZ Representatives Diaz and Hendrix
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.
HB2377: Primarily Sponsored by AZ Representatives Diaz, Hendrix, and McGarr
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.
HCM2004: Primarily Sponsored by AZ Representative Smith
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.
HCM2006: Primarily Sponsored by AZ Representative Griffin
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. Scroll down to see examples where small transfers of private land to the Federal Government provided access to tens of thousands of acres of public lands for outdoor recreation.
HCM2007: Primarily Sponsored by AZ Representative Biasiucci
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.
HCM2008: Primarily Sponsored by AZ Representative Gillette
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.
HCM2005: Primarily Sponsored by AZ Representative Smith
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.
ET Ranch—Safford: The 640-acre ET Ranch near Safford was purchased by the BLM in 2017. BLM made road improvements, installed a parking lot, and added signage and that property now provides a much needed gateway of access to approximately 32,000 acres of Santa Theresa and North Santa Theresa Wilderness areas for hunting, hiking and camping. The property was purchased through the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the project was completed in partnership with the Southeastern Arizona Sportsman’s Club, National Wild Turkey Federation, Arizona Game & Fish Department and the Trust for Public Lands with support from many other local residents and outdoor recreation non-profits. The total value of the lost revenue from property taxes on the ET Ranch is less than $100/year.
Doll Baby Ranch—Payson: The Doll Baby Ranch was purchased and transferred to the Tonto National Forest in 2019. This purchase provides public access to the Mazatzal Wilderness and Tonto National Forest. There is now a public trailhead and parking lot providing access for hunting and hiking as well as access to Crackerjack Mine Road which is a very popular OHV destination. This access is used by thousands of outdoor recreationists every year. Property taxes in 2018 on the Doll Baby Ranch were $3100.
Quigley-Achee Wilderness Area (aka Quigley Ponds/Tacna Marsh)—Yuma: Quigley Ponds was purchased by the state and is managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department in order to protect wetlands along the Gila River. It provides opportunities for wildlife watching and birding and small game hunting. In this example, these bad bills would get in the way of our own State Lands and Game and Fish Department’s collaborative work.
Cross F Ranch—Willcox: This project opens up 40,000 acres of public lands for hunting access in an area north of Aravaipa Creek. The project is supported by over 25 sportsmen groups including the Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, Arizona Game and Fish Department and Graham County, and makes strategic use of federal funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Potential lost tax revenue $1100/year.
Contact Information for LARA Committee Members
Michael Carbone - MCARBONE@azleg.gov, 602-926-4038
David Cook - DCOOK@azleg.gov, 602-926-5162
Lupe Diaz - LDIAZ@azleg.gov, 602-926-4852
Gail Griffin - GGRIFFIN@azleg.gov, 602-926-5895
Consuelo Hernandez - CHERNANDEZ@azleg.gov, 602-926-3523
Lydia Hernandez - LHERNANDEZ@azleg.gov, 602-926-3376
Michele Peña - MPENA@azleg.gov, 602-926-3696
Mariana Sandoval - MSANDOVAL@azleg.gov, 602-926-3740Keith Seaman - KSEAMAN@azleg.gov, 602-926-3760