Washington D.C. – Today, Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva introduced legislation to protect valuable natural resources and maintain wildlife movement corridors near Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona.
The Saguaro National Park Boundary Expansion and Study Act of 2009 would expand the boundary of the park by at least 975 acres and enable the National Park Service to purchase land from willing sellers adjacent to the Park’s East and West Units, including three miles of an important creek on Tucson’s east side.
The legislation also gives the Park Service the authority to acquire State land within the boundaries of the Park in accordance with Arizona State law. If the Park Service cannot acquire the land, then it may enter into an agreement to manage the State land as part of the Park.
“I am pleased this legislation will preserve our public lands and put future development in less sensitive areas”, said Grijalva. “Saguaro National Park is a shining example of the Sonoran Desert’s magnificent beauty. However, ongoing population growth in the Tucson area and southern Arizona is creating increasing demands for permanently protected open space, wildlife corridors and places for recreation. This bill will protect our valuable natural resources and some of the last remaining productive riparian areas.”
The proposal also includes a study to examine the natural, cultural, recreational, and scenic values and character of lands adjacent to the park. The study will also review which lands should now be included in the Park, as well as determining whether certain lands should be removed due to development or other changes in their status that would no longer make them suitable for inclusion within the park boundary.