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. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said after the conclusion of today’s markup – which finished a process that began on April 28 – that the Democratic legislative strategy on national conservation policy is now clearly focused on environmental justice, taxpayer fairness and climate protection.
TUCSON— Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris regarding the current situation at the border. Instead of more troop deployments, militarization, and border wall construction, he instead advocated for more federal funds to nonprofits, cities, and counties to assist asylum-seeking families.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), chair of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, today sent a letter signed by 15 House Democratic colleagues and endorsed by seven conservation organizations to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging them to modernize federal mining regulations and set a groundbreaking standard for tribal consent in permitting future mining projects.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today introduced the Insular Area Climate Change Act. The bill – cosponsored by Vice Chair Gregorio Sablan (D-CNMI), Reps. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) and Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), and Delegates Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.) and Michael San Nicolas (D-Guam) – seeks broad financial and technical support to prepare millions of U.S. citizens and nationals living in U.S. territories for climate change.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today wrote to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland urging her to return Bureau of Land Management (BLM) headquarters to Washington, D.C., from Grand Junction, Colo., where former BLM Director William Perry Pendley moved it during the Trump administration as part of a largely successful effort to undermine staff morale and force career experts to leave the agency.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement on the Bureau of Land Management’s announcement that it will not hold oil and gas lease sales on public lands for the second quarter of the year, pending the results of Biden administration’s ongoing review of climate policy: “The Biden administration is right to put fossil fuel leasing on pause while it finishes its review, just as anyone would do during any similar review period.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement on the two new orders signed by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland today to prioritize action on climate change and make policy decisions more transparent.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Alan S. Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Chair of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, today released a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) does not provide adequate oversight of thousands of miles of active offshore oil and gas pipelines and that BSEE does not have a robust process to ensure obsolete pipelines left on the seafloor follow federal safety and environmental standards.
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M.