A new poll out this week shows just how widespread opposition is to a proposed Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument. A scientific poll commissioned by Coleman Dahm and Associates shows 71.6% of Arizonans opposed this monument, which would be done by Executive Order at the White House.
The proposed monument declaration is an ongoing effort by special interest groups to lock up 1.7 million acres of land in northern Arizona.
The Obama administration has already designated or expanded 22 national monuments, grabbing more than three million acres of land.
Arizona State Land Department Commissioner Lisa Atkins submitted testimony at Rep. Paul Gosar’s recent public listening session stating: “Of the 1.7 million acres included in proposals for the Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument (GCWNM), 64,000 acres belong solely to the Common Schools beneficiary: K-12 education…Inclusion of the checker-boarded State Trust land within the GCWNM essentially traps the State Trust land, significantly limiting economic opportunity and, in some cases, eliminating their value to the Trust altogether.”
“Ultimately, if the GCWNM is created, these trapped State Trust lands would be adversely relinquished to federal management objectives without consultation or coordination with the State on behalf of the Trust beneficiaries, as currently exists within other federal land use designations,” Atkins’ testimony continued. “These designations impose potential limitations to not only the types of activities and businesses that can be conducted on these trapped State Trust lands, but also increases federal regulatory burdens that impose greater costs to lessees. Potential land devaluation can also result from the increased costs to prospective buyers and lessees as a result of the regulatory burdens imposed by federal regulations.”