Thursday, November 8, 2012
Arizona Conservation Wins With Voters
Good news from the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection:
PROP 120 DEFEATED: 68% to 32%
Arizona voters soundly rejected Proposition 120, the “State Sovereignty” measure, by more than a two-to-one margin. Proposition 120 was referred to the ballot by the Arizona Legislature. It would have amended the Arizona Constitution to assert state sovereignty and to establish that the state has exclusive authority and jurisdiction over air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife, and other natural resources within the state, in an attempt to both gain control of federal public lands and to undermine important federal environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.
"Arizona voters clearly saw this for what it was – the Legislature’s harsh and unrelenting attack against conservation stewardship and natural resource protection,” said Carolyn Campbell, No on Prop 120 Campaign Chair and Executive Director of the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection. “These laws are the bedrock of an environmental legacy forged over the last 50 years and are critical to protecting one of the most ecologically rich regions of the country.”
Read the full press release on our website. http://www.sonorandesert.org
PROP 119 APPROVED: 62% to 38%
For years, conservationists across the state have been searching for meaningful State Trust Land reform, with the goal of protecting a small sub-set of lands that contain important wildlife habitat, riparian resources, wildlife linkages, and recreational and scenic values. This proposition makes a welcome change to the current method of State Trust land disposal and allows for a continuing discussion regarding how Arizona can best address its land ownership.
Prop 119 provides an avenue for accountability and transparency to the exchange process, a critical condition to ensure that the citizens of Arizona have a voice in the process.
Prop 119 requires two independent analyses of lands for exchange, public hearings regarding the exchange, and a statewide vote during general election concerning any proposed exchanges.
Prop 119 is good first step to modernize the methods for planning and disposition of State Trust lands, which will have positive ramifications for important conservation lands in the future.