Join or make a donation to the Sierra Club Take Action
(top left) Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, photo by Scott Jones; (top right) Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, photo by Hank Jorgensen; (bottom left) Black River through Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, photo by Scott Sprague; (bottom right) Four Peaks Wilderness, photo by Jim Vaaler
(top left) Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, photo by Scott Jones; (top right) Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, photo by Hank Jorgensen; (bottom left) Black River through Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, photo by Scott Sprague; (bottom right) Four Peaks Wilderness, photo by Jim Vaaler Protect Arizona’s Wild Lands

When people think about their favorite places in Arizona, some of our public lands are sure to be at the top of their lists. Arizona is blessed with approximately 30.5 million acres of federal public lands, from Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in the north to Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in the south, from the Blue Range Primitive Area in the east to the Trigo Mountains Wilderness in the west. Ken Burns referred to our National Parks as “America’s Best Idea” in his film series about the parks. We agree. These special areas include a variety of landscapes, plants, geology, archaeology, and history, as well as unique wildlife habitat and outstanding recreational opportunities.

Our Goals

  • protect our public lands from increasing demands, including development, recreational pressures, and extractive uses
  • ensure that forests are properly managed to protect remaining old growth habitat and to restore natural processes
  • protect large areas of and connectivity between undeveloped public lands in order to ensure resilient habitat for native plants and wildlife
  • limit impacts of mining, stop the most destructive mines, and reform outdated mining laws

Current News/Take Action!

For information on more ways to get involved, upcoming meetings and events, and more, please contact Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 or sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org.

Forests

Coconino National Forest, photo by Tiffany Sprague
Coconino National Forest, photo by Tiffany Sprague

The environment of Arizona is typically associated with desert vistas and dramatic canyon views. Yet Arizona is home to the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the United States. From the sky islands of Southern Arizona to the Kaibab Plateau along Grand Canyon’s North Rim, the forests of Arizona are home to a remarkable diversity of plants and animals, some found nowhere else on earth! As wild habitat throughout the Southwest is fragmented by development, public lands play an ever-greater role in the preservation of diverse and unique species.

Forests Forever! A new Vision for Arizona's National Forest (1.4 MB pdf) – learn more about the six forests in Arizona and how they’re managed

National Parks and Monuments

Sonoran Desert National Monument, photo by Thom Hulen
Sonoran Desert National Monument,
photo by Thom Hulen

Arizona houses 31 national parks, monuments, heritage sites, recreation areas, and more. These include spectacular places, such as Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Saguaro National Park, Sonoran Desert National Monument, and Coronado National Memorial. Most of these areas are managed by the National Park Service (NPS) and five are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The Sierra Club seeks to ensure that the management plans and any proposed projects in these areas protect and restore the natural systems and native species, safeguarding the remoteness and undeveloped character of the landscapes. We work to limit actions in and around these awe-inspiring places that have the potential to negatively affect the important resources for which they were set aside. That means working to reduce damage from irresponsible off-road vehicle activities, overgrazing by livestock, and introduction of invasive species, among other actions.

Mining

The Santa Rita Mountains are threatened by the proposed Rosemont Mine, photo by Kim Beck
The Santa Rita Mountains are threatened by the
proposed Rosemont Mine, photo by Kim Beck

The Sierra Club works to limit the impacts of mining in our state and to reform outdated federal hardrock mining laws that put mining above other important values on public lands. Mining can have significant negative impacts on landscapes, wildlife, waters, public health, and recreation.

We are a member of the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition, whose goal is to stop unduly destructive mining proposals in Arizona, including the Rosemont Mine, the Resolution Copper Mine, and some ill-sited uranium mines. The long-term goal is to reform the 1872 Mining Law to, at a minimum, do the following:

  • give clear full discretion to land management agencies to deny mining projects on public land
  • institute royalty payments on minerals taken from public lands (currently no royalties are paid for minerals removed from public lands)
  • permanently abolish the patenting system, which allows corporations to obtain public land for as little as $2.50 per acre, and institute a lease program in its place
  • codify the millsite rule, which made dumping of mining waste illegal on public land
  • require proper bonding and reclamation standards

To learn more about our mining campaign, please contact Don Steuter at (602) 956-5057 or dsteuter@hotmail.com.

Wilderness

Celebrating 50 Years of American Wilderness

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and a year-long celebration of this important piece of legislation. Much has been written about this key environmental law and how it has affected public lands management. Much more remains to be written about it and about Arizona's 1984 and 1990 bills, which, along with the Wilderness Act itself, gave Arizona more than four million acres of wilderness.

Get out and explore one of Arizona's 90 wilderness areas. Here is a handy checklist.

Learn more and get involved by visiting

http://azwild50th.org!

 

 

Public Lands Resources

Public Lands Factsheet (1.5 MB pdf) – learn more about Arizona’s public lands and what you can do to help protect them

Mining Factsheet – discover why the 1872 Mining Law damages our public lands and is not in the best interest of American citizens

Oak Flat Factsheet– find out how you can help protect Oak Flat from the proposed Resolution Copper Mine

YouTube Video– A Not-So-Simple Exchange: Why Arizona's Oak Flat Deserves Continued Protection From Copper Mining

Save the Scenic Santa Ritas– learn more about the proposed Rosemont Mine in southern Arizona

Links to Headings on this page...

Our Goals

Current News

Forests

National Parks and Monuments

Mining

Wilderness

Public Lands Resources

 

photo by Zachary Crumbo
photo by Zachary Crumbo

To get involved with the Sierra Club’s public lands work in Arizona, please contact our office at (602) 253-8633 or email grand.canyon.chapter@sierraclub.org.

Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter, 202 E. McDowell Rd, Suite 277, Phoenix, AZ 85004, (602) 253-8633

Sierra Club

Sierra Club® and One Earth, One Chance® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club.
© 2001 Sierra Club. Sierra Club Website Terms and Conditions of Use and Privacy Policy.