Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lands bill offers something for everyone

The U.S. House passed the Omnibus Lands bill, following Senate passage earlier this year and the legislation is expected to be signed by Pres. Obama. I blogged after the Senate vote about the parts of the bill that directly affect lands in Arizona. These include (with initial sponsors in parentheses):
  • Special Resource Studies, Walnut Canyon study: S 722 - McCain (R-AZ) - HR 1558 - Renzi (R-AZ) /HR5751 - Pastor (D-AZ)
  • Sierra Vista Subwatershed feasibility study, AZ: S 1929 - Kyl (R-AZ) - HR 3328 – Giffords (D-AZ)
  • Additions to the Natl & Wild Scenic Rivers System: Fossil Creek, AZ NWSR: S 86 - McCain (R-AZ) - HR 199 – Renzi (R-AZ) [right, Fossil Creek, in bold, between Phoenix and Flagstaff. Credit, US Bur. of Rec. & USFS]
  • Additions to the Natl Trails System: AZ Natl Scenic Trail: S 1304 - McCain (R-AZ) - HR 2297 - Giffords (D-AZ)
In addition, the bill reauthorized the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Act, which funds geologic quadrangle mapping by the AZGS and other state geological surveys.

Another piece of the bill "settles the Navajos' water rights claims in the San Juan River Basin and authorizes a pipeline to serve Gallup and Navajo communities in New Mexico and eastern Arizona" [Arizona Republic]

Part of the strategy of the authors of the package was to include 170 separate proposals, to build broad support for the legislation. It appears to have paid off.

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