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.

Combatting Global Climate Change

Preserving Arizona's Natural Resources

Protecting the Grand Canyon

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.

National Parks

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

December 21, 2020 Press Release

Washington D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today highlighted the inclusion of his Saguaro National Park Boundary Expansion Act, along with landmark tribal water priorities, renewable energy wins, and Insular provisions as part of the Fiscal Year 2021, Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (H.R. 133) set to become law this week. H.R.

October 6, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Sen.

September 30, 2020 Press Release

Washington D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today led a Committee markup to advance 19 pieces of legislation, including key Natural Resources measures to protect federally recognized waters from dangerous mining, remove Confederate monuments from public lands, and support Indian Country. One bill provides federal recognition for the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

September 24, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement on the U.S. Forest Service’s newly announced upcoming publication of a Final Environmental Impact Statement that will exempt the Tongass National Forest in Alaska from the 2001 Roadless Rule.


September 24, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) led a letter today with seven other House Committee Democrats to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt questioning the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) effort to rush forward a road-building project through the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area (NCA) in Southern Utah.

September 23, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M.

September 18, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said today ahead of the administration’s expected 9:30 a.m. Eastern time press conference in Puerto Rico to announce the release of a formerly withheld round of disaster aid that four years of Trump administration abuse and neglect have caused preventable deaths in Puerto Rico, and today’s announcement will not erase Puerto Rican memories of how the president has treated the island and its people.