Home | Classifieds | Place Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Kudos | Obits | Real Estate | Subscriber Services | Villager | Health Directory | Contact Us
The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions May 24, 2016


9/18/2012 8:05:00 AM
Editorial: Prop. 119 not just another scheme to trade off public land

We are creatures of habit.

And that makes the prospect of voter approval for a state proposition to allow for the trading of public lands unlikely.

After all, this will be the eighth time this measure has been presented to voters. It’s been rejected the prior seven times it’s been on our general election ballot.

First, a little history about Proposition 119: When Arizona became a state 100 years ago, the federal government gave it close to 11 million of acres of land to be held in trust. The proceeds from the sale or lease of these public lands, or from selling timber or mineral rights, is to be used primarily for public schools. About 9.3 million acres remain. The Arizona Constitution demands these lands can be sold only to the highest bidder.

Proposition 119 would create an exception to this constitutional provision to allow for land swaps to preserve open space around military bases.

As it now stands, private developers own much of the land around Arizona’s military bases. Should that land be developed as high-density residential development, the fear is that the military will move their operations to another state, and that could have a crippling effect on our state economy.

In past years, such measures promoting land swaps with public land have been met with strong opposition from environmental groups. Not so with Prop. 119. Sandy Bahr, director of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club, points to the land around the San Pedro River near Fort Huachuca: “That alone is enough to vote ‘yes’ on this because the San Pedro is a critically important river from a conservation perspective,’’ she explained. “And Fort Huachuca is essential to the economy of the Sierra Vista area.’’

Further, said Bahr, voters still will have the last say on these land exchanges. Once the state comes up with a proposal for a land trade, there will be public hearings, appraisals and an analysis of the costs and benefits. The plan then would go to the Legislature. If lawmakers approve, the measure then would be presented to voters for final approval.

Yes, we are creatures of habit. But at least with Proposition 119, this one deserves a close and careful read. This just might be a habit we need to break.

Related Stories:
• Eighth time a charm for Prop. 119?


    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Police soon will have one more reason to pull you over (4159 views)

•   'A Great Celebration' -- Mingus seniors prepare for graduation, commemorate scholarships and awards (3437 views)

•   Dowling steps down; Cottonwood election promises new interest (2855 views)

•   New trial sought for Jack Rider (2641 views)

•   What's hot in Verde Valley job market? (2277 views)



Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Article comment by: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Well, it's certainly better than giving the State retroactive water rights to those 9.5 million acres. So all right, you've convinced me. I won't vote 119 down out of hand. I'll go back and see if I can find this ray of hope buried in all that legislative yibble-yabble.

Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Article comment by: State Land is Not Public Land

Just so the facts are presented correctly here, you should know that Arizona State Land (also State Parks, Game and Fish etc) is NOT Public Land. You have to have some form of permission (license) to be on it.



Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Find more about Weather in Cottonwood, AZ
Click for weather forecast


Submission Links
 •  Submit your feedback about our site

Find It Features Blogs Celebrate Submit Extras Other Publications Local Listings
Classifieds | Place Ad | Galleries | Kudos | Real Estate | Subscriber Services | e-News | RSS | Site Map | Find Verde Jobs | Contact Us
© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Verde Independent is the information source for Cottonwood and Verde Valley area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Verde News Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, verdenews.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Verde News Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved