Natural Resources & The Environment
Rep. Grijalva has taken the lead on numerous environmental issues in the House of Representatives. Among other efforts, he has championed the protection of the Grand Canyon from the threat of expanded uranium mining; codifying the National Landscape Conservation System as a permanent feature of our public lands; protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; defending wilderness areas and endangered species from pollution and encroachment; advancing ecological restoration on federal lands; increasing wildfire suppression funding; expanding young adult access to public lands; and advancing the National Park Service Centennial Initiative.
He served as Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands – part of the House Committee on Natural Resources – in the 110th and 111th Congresses, and served as ranking member in the 112th Congress. He is currently ranking member of the newly renamed Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulations, which has much of the same jurisdiction.
National Landscape Conservation System
The National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS), made permanent by Congress in 2009, is a collection of 27 million acres of public land throughout the Western United States. Made up of National Monuments, National Conservation Areas and Wilderness Areas, the NLCS is the second largest collection of public lands set aside for conservation.
Rep. Grijalva is the founding co-chair of the National Landscape Conservation System Caucus. He was the lead House sponsor of legislation signed by the president permanently to establish the National Landscape Conservation System and has advocated increasing the system's funding.
Rep. Grijalva has long advocated full funding of the National Park Service and park operations and the expansion of the system since coming to Congress. He believes we need to address the chronic work backlog on federal land, which will create jobs both through the work itself and increasing the tourism potential at public spaces around the country.
Bringing National Park status to land around Southern Arizona is one of his highest priorities. To continue the protection of the unique Sonoran Desert ecosystem, Grijalva recently introduced the Saguaro National Park Boundary Expansion and Study Act to expand Southern Arizona’s flagship national park.
Rep. Grijalva is proud to have the support of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees and the National Parks Conservation Association. Earlier this year, he was awarded with the Western National Parks Association’s Edward B. Danson Award by actor Ted Danson at a Tucson ceremony. As James Cook, the executive director of the WNPA, wrote in an op-ed for the Arizona Daily Star, “Grijalva has demonstrated an understanding of the importance of our national park system. Park designation protects not only wonderful landscapes like our local Saguaro National Park and Chiricahua National Monument, but also places where the most important stories in American history are represented.”
Rep. Grijalva understands the value of a strong working relationship between the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture and other stakeholders to address the needs of our nation’s federal forests. He cosponsors H.R. 1442 – the Depleting Risk from Insect Infestation, Soil Erosion, and Catastrophic Fire Act – to extend contract stewardship and Good Neighbor Authority originally created by the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2005.
Rep. Grijalva helped bring groups together to negotiate the creation of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, which will restore 1.5 million acres of forest in Northern Arizona. As evidenced by the devastating fires across Arizona over the past several years, projects like are extremely important to our conservation and management efforts. He believes in better national policies to improve forest ecosystem health and minimize the damage caused by forest fires.
Wilderness status is the strongest protection afforded to any public land. These pristine natural environments are unique habitats for flora and fauna, refuges from the modern world that demonstrate our nation’s dedication to conservation and environmental stewardship. As Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands in the 110th Congress, Rep. Grijalva helped promote 12 wilderness designation bills – totaling more than 2 million acres – into law.
Protecting wildlife from possible extinction and promoting animal rights are important aspects of Rep. Grijalva's work in Congress. He has helped ensure the proper management and respect of iconic wild horses the roam the plains of the West, and wrote a letter to then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar in February urging him to improve Bureau of Land Management horse management practices. He recently wrote to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell encouraging her not to remove Endangered Species Act protections for most U.S. wolf populations, as the Interior Department has considered.
More on Environment
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), sponsors of the Environmental Justice for All Act, today hailed the announced membership of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC) and called for broad action by the executive branch to implement a strong environmental justice agenda at all levels of the federal government.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) reintroduced their landmark Environmental Justice for All Act today, supported by a wide array of grassroots groups and environmental advocates from across the country.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), authors of the landmark Environmental Justice for All Act, wrote to President Biden today urging him to revoke Army Corps of Engineers permits for the proposed Formosa Plastics petrochemical complex located in St. James Parish.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today released the following statement on the confirmation of Deb Haaland to be Secretary of the Interior.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today highlighted new findings by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that a 2019 Trump administration order to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) not to consult with federal stakeholders on many coastal preservation projects has led to unjustified coastal damage, excessive dredging and other harmful consequences.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today welcomed the introduction of the Clean Future Act by Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The bill includes several environmental justice measures consistent with the approach outlined by Grijalva’s and Rep. A. Donald McEachin’s (D-Va.) Environmental Justice for All Act in the 116th Congress, including an effort to address the cumulative impacts of multiple pollution sources on environmental justice communities.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who has for many years highlighted the need for federal tribal consultation before moving forward with the Resolution Copper mining project in central Arizona, today hailed the news that the U.S. Forest Service is withdrawing its final environmental impact statement and draft record of decision issued on Jan. 15 and will conduct a thorough review before proceeding any further with the preparation of new analyses at the site.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today hailed passage of the Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act, a package of Natural Resources Committee bills that includes Grijalva’s Grand Canyon Protection Act; Rep. Joe Neguse’s (D-Colo.) Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act; and a collection of bills introduced in the last Congress as a package by Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) under the heading Protecting America’s Wilderness Act.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today announced the vice chairs and subcommittee chairs for the 117th Congress. The positions were chosen by the Democratic members of the Committee during their recently concluded organizing meeting.
The full Committee organizing meeting will be livestreamed tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time.