Rep. Bob Thorpe’s bill, HB2585, has been signed by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey today. The bill requires Arizona State Land Department to “determine whether the limits of a parcel comprising a national monument” in Arizona “are confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected by the national monument.”
Arizona State Representative Bob Thorpe stated, “Just like the other western states and unlike the eastern states, Arizona has enormous Federal land holdings, including the greatest number of created National Monuments of the 50 states. National Monuments in the eastern U.S. typically average between 50-100 acres, whereas western National Monuments average 175,000 acres. My bill, HB2585 that the Sierra Club fought against empowers Arizona’s State Land Dept. and our Attorney General to challenge these huge unconstitutional Federal land grabs (takings), by holding the Federal Government to the restrictive language contained within the very law that Obama uses to create National Monuments. We have already lost 100,000 acres of State Trust land, harming education and our schools, and countless sums of private property to National Monuments creation. If Obama is not stopped from creating the 1.7 million acre Grand Canyon Watershed National Monuments, we’ll lose another 30,000 acres of State Trust land and 7,000 acres of private property. Even the AZ Game and Fish Commission has come out against the creation of more National Monuments.”
Under the law, the Department must notify the Attorney General if the Department “determines that the limits of a parcel comprising a national monument in this state are not confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected by the national monument.”
Should the Department find that the parcel is not the smallest area, the bill allows the Attorney General to take legal “action to confine the limits of the parcel.