Public Policy

Hot Topics

Apache Trout Cooperative Management Program (CMP)

AZTU-PPC, as well as TU National are actively engaged in developing a collaborative plan for how we should manage Apache Trout if the US Fish and Wildlife Service decides to delist the Apache Trout because the recovery objectives have been met. Stay tuned for more as this evolves!

2021 Legislative Sessions

The 2021 Arizona legislature has now been in session for ten weeks. A few of the most important bills relative to our mission are featured for this month. Updates are italicized.
SR1002/HB2003 – This bill would strip the ACC of the authority to establish renewable energy standards and transfer that responsibility to the Legislature. It has passed the house and is awaiting action in the Senate. We are opposed to this legislation as we perceive it as a move by the Legislature to stop the transition to renewable energy in Arizona. Ironically, the utility providers in AZ are moving in this direction on their own.
HB2702 – This bill, proposed by Representative Finchem, would require a land-owner to get approval of the Arizona Legislature before being able to sell their land to the federal government. The supporters justify this proposed legislation based on a claim that it would protect the property tax that the state gets on this land because the state does not receive tax revenue from federal land. We are strongly opposed to this legislation. It would deny property owners their rights to do what they deem appropriate with their property without undue interference from the state. Outdoor recreation provides over 200,000 jobs in the state and delivers over $1.4B in state and local tax revenue, which far outweighs the property tax value of the land. This bill has passed out of committee and placed on the third read agenda but has not been heard. We are hoping this bill dies.
SB1384/HB2127 – The American Heritage Fund bill would dedicate $10M to be spent on maintaining and improving Arizona’s trails, parks, cultural sites and open spaces. As of 2/11/2021, this bill has passed the House and being reviewed in the Senate Appropriations and Rules Committees. Several amendments have been made on the amount of funding, but it is still in process. We support this legislation.
HB2691 – Probably the most impactful legislation for protecting the clean, cold water we like to fish is the legislation that the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has drafted as the “Surface Water Protection Program”. We have been tracking this in past ZGTU Newsletters. With the issuance of the Navigable Water Protection Rule by the US Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers, most of the surface water in AZ has lost its protection. This is Arizona’s attempt to put protections in place. While we are concerned that ephemeral streams may not receive adequate protection and “dredge & fill” is not managed, this is a major step forward. This bill has passed the House and is moving through the Senate.

At the federal level, the US House of Representatives recently passed the Grand Canyon Protection Act which was proposed by Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva. This piece of legislation will protect approximately 1 million acres of land near the Grand Canyon from uranium mining. The region is currently protected from new mining claims under a 20-year moratorium instituted by former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in 2012, but that would expire unless renewed. The bill is part of a package of public lands bills put forward by Grijalva and other members of Congress. Arizona Sens. Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema have introduced a similar measure in the Senate. This has not advanced in the past month. Stay tuned!

National Park Service (NPS) Incentivized Harvest Program at Lee’s Ferry

In the NPS’s efforts to protect the native humpbacked chub, they are offering a $25 bounty on each brown trout over 6 inches caught in the Lee’s Ferry section of the Colorado River. While AZ Trout Unlimited is committed to catch and release, we view this as a less threatening option to repeated electro-shocking to remove the brown trout. Click HERE for additional information.

We encourage our members to participate in this program.

AZTU Public Policy 2021 Strategy

The Public Policy Committee conducted our second annual Strategy Summit and focused our attention on collaboratively developing our Action Plans around three major themes: clean water, catchable native and wild trout in Arizona, and organizational enablement.

The Public Policy Committee meets:

Every second Tuesday of the month
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Contact Tom Osterday at tgosterday@gmail.com for more information or to attend