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Recommendations for Upcoming Propositions

We strongly urge you to vote “no” on Proposition 109.
We urge your support of Proposition 110.
We encourage you to vote no on Proposition 301.

Jim Vaaler Don Steuter
Chairperson Conservation Chair
Sierra Club – Grand Canyon Chapter Sierra Club – Grand Canyon Chapter

 

Vote “No” on Proposition 109

Stop the Legislature’s Power Grab Regarding Wildlife Management

Proposition 109 will undermine the current system of wildlife management in Arizona and give science a backseat to politics. This is just one more bad idea brought to us by the Arizona Legislature, one of the most dysfunctional legislatures in recent history.

Hunting, fishing and harvesting of wildlife will no longer be considered privileges if Proposition 109 passes, but instead will be included in the basic Declaration of Rights in the Arizona Constitution along with true rights such as: due process of law, right of petition and of assembly, freedom of speech and press, equal privileges and immunities, bearing arms, and religious freedom, among many other important rights.

The Sierra Club is not anti-hunting – many of our members hunt and fish and we have long worked with hunters and anglers on conservation measures – but this measure goes too far. Proposition 109 is about the Legislature trying to grab more power, not about doing anything positive for wildlife. It will have a negative impact on wildlife and wildlife management in Arizona by making it more difficult to regulate the take of wildlife and by making harvesting of wildlife a preferred method of management, irrespective of the impacts on the wildlife or the wildlife habitat.

Wildlife belongs to all Arizona citizens – hunters and non-hunters, anglers and non-anglers, those who wildlife watch and those who don’t, this as well as the next generation. Wildlife is held in trust by the State of Arizona for their benefit. Establishing a constitutional right to hunt and fish violates that basic trust responsibility and puts at risk a system of wildlife management that has served Arizona well since 1929.

We strongly urge you to vote “no” on Proposition 109.

Support Open and Accountable State Trust Land Exchanges

Vote “Yes” on Proposition 110

Proposition 110 for the first time provides a way to exchange state trust land for federal lands that includes accountability and transparency. The exchange process will have an open and public process, which identifies all lands that will be exchanged up front; requires two land appraisals; includes an analysis of the impacts; and requires two public meetings. All of this must happen prior to any exchange moving forward. This helps limit backroom deals that have been a problem with some past exchanges.

Each land exchange must also go to the voters, so the voters have the final say and provide a screen for ensuring that an exchange is truly in the public’s interests. This will also help to limit the number of exchange proposals.

Exchanges can only be for two purposes including providing for the proper management, protection and public use of state lands or for the protection of military facilities.

The Sierra Club has opposed most of the past land exchange measures, but we are supporting this proposal because it includes the kind of transparency and accountability that is necessary to ensure that land exchanges are in the best interest of the trust and the larger public.

We urge your support of Proposition 110.

Say no to Legislative Sweep of Conservation Fund

Vote no on Proposition 301

Proposition 301 proposes to raid a voter-protected fund for land conservation and sweep it into the General Fund, where the Arizona Legislature will determine how it is appropriated.

The Land Conservation Fund was established by the voters in 1998 when they approved the Growing Smarter Act. The dollars in this fund provide a match for communities to acquire state trust lands for conservation, including lands that are part of the Pima County Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve, the Flagstaff Open Space Plan, lands near Prescott, and more.

By diverting dollars from the Land Conservation Fund, the legislature hurts both conservation efforts and education – dollars from the Land Conservation Fund go into the Trust to benefit the Trust beneficiaries. The primary beneficiary is public education. Some argue that these conservation dollars will not be used in a down economy, but land conservation continues in a down economy and in fact, much of the dollars generated recently for the trust, came from land conservation.

Arizona devotes limited dollars to conservation overall and the legislature has already raided most of the ones that did not enjoy the protection of voters. One need look no further than our State Parks to see how little this legislature values conservation. Don’t let them do even more harm by sweeping these dollars.

We encourage you to vote no on Proposition 301.

 

 

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