Nearly 1 million acres of public lands, mainly in western Maricopa County, would be preserved as wilderness, national conservation and special management areas under a bill introduced by Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva. Grijalva says the measure would benefit wildlife, the state’s military bases and tourism.
A major goal of the legislation is protection of flight corridors on the Goldwater Range, used for pilot training by several military bases in the state. The Range’s retired director, Jim Uken, says both the military and wildlife, such as the endangered Sonoran Pronghorn Antelope, stand to benefit.
Grijalva says he has not heard objections to his bill from the rest of the state’s congressional delegation, and hopes several of them will sign onto the measure as co-sponsors.