TUCSON -- US Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ7) reintroduced legislation on Tuesday to exchange lands in Pima County and protect state trust land on Tumamoc Hill.
The bill is called the Pima County Land Adjustment Act.
The legislation would allow the County to acquire Tumamoc Hill on Tucson’s west side and would take two private parcels into federal ownership that would then be added to the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area and Saguaro National Park’s west side unit.
The new bill revises similar legislation from the 108th and 109th Congresses. The updated language adds the Bloom property, which will become part of Saguaro National Park.
The land exchange involves four parcels of land. A 1,280 acre Bureau of Land Management parcel near Sahuarita would be exchanged for a 2,490 acre private parcel near Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, and the 160 acre Bloom parcel, also in private ownership at this time. As a condition of the exchange, the private developers receiving the BLM parcel would be required to pay the State of Arizona the appraised value for Tumamoc Hill. The legislation then requires Tumamoc Hill to be transferred to Pima County for permanent protection.
"I'm proud to announce the reintroduction of this bill today, a bill that will permanently preserve important open space, especially Tumamoc Hill," Rep. Grijalva stated. "In my position as Chairman of the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee with jurisdiction over this matter, I plan to move the bill forward with a hearing early this year."
The legislation preserves the application of environmental protection laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act.
- adapted from RG