U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) introduced three bills today to preserve Arizona’s public lands and attract new visitors to the state.
“Arizona is home to unique natural and cultural treasures,” McSally said. “We want to preserve our distinctive history and ensure it is kept accessible to the public. These efforts will improve our lands and boost Arizona’s economy by attracting new tourism to our state.”
The three bills include the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Reauthorization Act; the Chiricahua National Park Act; and the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Boundary Modification Act.
Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls: “The reauthorization of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is vital to continuing the transformational work of preserving the Yuma story in its cultures, in its history and in its foundation for many generations to come. Thank you, Senator McSally, for taking the lead and introducing this critical reauthorization bill in the Senate.”
The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Reauthorization will reauthorize the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area (YCNHA), which expires at the end of Fiscal Year 2021, for an additional 15 years. The National Heritage Area includes the Yuma Crossing National Historic Landmark, the Yuma Territorial Prison and Colorado River State Historic Parks, Fort Yuma, and over 3 miles of contiguous riverfront parks, trails, and 400 acres of restored wetlands.
YCNHA was established in 2000 through legislation by Rep. Ed Pastor and extended for an additional 5 years through legislation by Sen. John McCain. The bill has the support of the City of Yuma, Yuma County and the Quechen Indian Tribe.
The Chiricahua National Park Act will give national park status to Chiricahua National Monument. The national monument is comprised of nearly 12,000 acres southeast of Willcox. If passed, Chiricahua would become Arizona’s fourth national park. This act would not change the boundaries or funding to the area.
McSally introduced this legislation when she was in the House of Representatives.
The effort to recognize Chiricahua as a National Park has garnered strong support from the City of Benson, the City of Douglas, the City of Tucson, the Southeast Arizona Governments Organization, and the Wilcox Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture.
The Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Boundary Modification Act will improve the management of the historic resources and nearby infrastructure of the Monument.
Specifically, the legislation will:
- Allow the National Park Service (NPS) to acquire about 200 acres of adjacent private land from willing sellers
- Transfer 11.2 acres of adjacent BLM land to NPS to be administered as part of the Monument
- Correct an unintentional trespass of the San Carlos Irrigation Project (SCIP) by transferring a narrow sliver of land (3.5 acres) along the southern edge of the monument to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to be managed as part of SCIP.
- Authorize NPS to enter into a joint administration agreement with the state (if the state wants to) for 200 acres of State Trust land near the Monument that encompasses the historic Adamsville townsite.
This bill is in partnership with a bipartisan House version introduced by Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) and is supported by the City of Coolidge, Pinal County, Gila River Indian Community, and the National Park Conservation Association.
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