Washington D.C. – Representative Raúl M. Grijalva’s bill to protect valuable natural resources and maintain wildlife movement corridors near Saguaro National Park was considered before the Committee on Natural Resources this week.
The Saguaro National Park Boundary Expansion and Study Act (H.R. 715) now awaits consideration by the full House.
The legislation 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 bill 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 that the Committee moved on this bill today,” said Grijalva, Chairman of the Subcommittee of National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. “By expanding the boundaries of the Park, we will ensure that the area’s rare and sensitive plant and wildlife species will continue to have a protected home.”
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.