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Cattlemen, Conservationists, & Developers Duke It Out in Arizona

The fate of more than 9 million acres of public lands may soon rest in the hands of the citizens of Arizona in large part because of a stalled effort in the Arizona legislature.That possibility has emerged, according to The Arizona Republic,

The fate of more than 9 million acres of public lands may soon rest in the hands of the citizens of Arizona in large part because of a stalled effort in the Arizona legislature.That possibility has emerged, according to The Arizona Republic, now that Gov. Janet Napolitano has been forced to shelve her bipartisan efforts to hammer out a compromise between developers, conservationists, and cattlemen. The Sierra Club has responded to this impasse by threatening to circumvent the legislature and take the issue directly to the voters with an initiative effort for the Nov. 4 ballot.At present the state owns a whopping 9.2 million acres of trust land, a gift from Uncle Sam back in 1912 when the Arizona Territory became the State of Arizona. The Arizona State Land Department sells and leases the land at auction to benefit schools and other public agencies. This is already shaping up as the biggest land grab of 2008.

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Posted in Eric OKeefe, Feature, News Desk

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