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Public Lands Action

Vote No on HB2702: Bad for Public Lands

Please complete the online form to email your letter to your state senator.


Letter to be sent:


As an Arizona citizen who believes in private property rights and also recognizes the value in access to our public lands for hunting fishing, and general outdoor recreation, I urge you to vote no on HB2702.

 

Mark Finchem’s bill impacts both private property owners and access to our public lands. This bill would require any land sale to the federal government to be approved by the Arizona state legislature and the Governor.

 

Arizona is full of examples where the Bureau of Land Management or the National Forest Service was able to purchase a parcel of land from a willing seller to open up access to large sections of our public lands that we were previously locked out of. These transactions have opened thousands of acres to the public for hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation.

 

This bill violates our private property rights and lowers land values for sales of private land by restricting the number of potential buyers and by inserting the state legislature as an obstacle between a willing buyer and seller.

 

This bill would also undermine the great work done by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) which was signed into law as part of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) this past year. LWCF and GAOA had overwhelming public support as well as overwhelming bipartisan congressional support. Both Arizona Senators supported it as did 8 of 9 Arizona House members. There are numerous examples of great work that has been accomplished with collaboration between private landowners, land trusts, non-profits, and local leaders that would no longer be possible if this bill was to pass.

 

Finally, he bill views the value of lands only for their property tax contribution, but ignores other types of economic value generated by outdoor recreation on these lands and ignores the quality of life benefits they provide to local residents and the public. The Arizona outdoor recreation economy supports 201,000 jobs and generates $1.4B in state and local tax revenue. The simple fact is that the economic impact of outdoor recreation on these lands far outweighs the property tax benefit. Again, please keep in mind what’s best for the citizens you represent and vote no on HB2702.
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