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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!

Senate Passes Water Infrastructure Bill with Major Investments in Job-Creating Conservation Projects – READ MORE

Priority Waters

One of the major initiatives in the Five-year Strategic Plan coming out of TU National is the concept of “Priority Waters”. As a conservation group, we can be drawn into any number of issues. This initiative recognizes that we can only do so much and we need to FOCUS on the waters that are aligned with our mission: cold, freshwater that sustain native and wild trout (and salmon). We are aligning our focus on the 85 waters in AZ that AZGFD has identified as their current or potential wild and native trout waters. We are once again demonstrating our forward thinking by embracing the “Priority Waters” concept and are pursuing a pilot role in this initiative. The next step is to engage in further dialogue with AZGFD to narrow this further to waters.

Public Policy Updates

Priority Waters of AZ

Priority Waters is one of the key initiatives in the new 5-year Strategic Plan that TU National is rolling-out. Julie Carter, Aquatics Branch Chief for AZGFD, and her staff have identified 20 projects that they would like to work on to improve habitat for native & wild fish in AZ. We are working with them now on the funding requirements, prioritizations, and a timeline. This positions AZTU to be in a leadership role in the advancement of the Priority Waters initiative in TU.

Gila Trout Recovery Plan

Gila Trout Recovery Plan (GTRP) was first published in 1979 with numerous updates/meetings since then. The updated Plan was released with comments requested by September 10, 2021. Dr. Helen Neville and Dan Dauwalter of TU’s Science Staff worked very collaboratively with us and TU New Mexico leadership. All parties agree that the document could be improved in the areas of detailed planning, action plans, genetics, science, budget, and measures of success. AZTU-PPC, the AZTU Conservation Committee and the TU Gila Trout Chapter all submitted comments, along with the TU National Science Team. We expect that the review of these comments will take at least 6 months to a year to complete, although no commitment has been made by US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to change the document. Because AZTU participated in the comment window along with TU National, our comments will be noted, and we have standing to continue to inform the process as it moves forward.

Apache Trout Management Plan

This very important plan to manage and protect Apache Trout, in the event that the USFWS decides to delist them from the Endangered Species List, is moving through the review and final signature process. Both the TU Science Staff and AZTU will be parties to this agreement.

Black River Forest Restoration Environmental Assessment (EA)

The USFS reports that they are working through robust comments received relative to the EA.. The associated Biological Opinion is under peer review. The latest projection is that the EA will be released in the Spring of 2022.

Legislative Priorities

-SB1270 would dedicate five million annually to the Arizona Heritage Fund. This fund pays for park/ trail maintenance, historical site preservation and much more. Funding comes from the AZ lottery fund. Currently this bill has passed the Senate floor, House Land/ Ag. and Rules committee. Next stop is the House floor for a vote. TU supports this bill.

-HCR2024 is a resolution opposing the global 30×30 initiative that aims to conserve/ restore 30% of our lands and waters by 2030. This bill has passed the House, Senate Natural Resource and Senate Rules committee. Next stop is the Senate floor. TU opposes this bill.

-HCR2038 is a resolution supporting proper forest management, highlighting the need to thin and prescribe burn our overgrown forests. This bill has passed the House, Senate Natural Resource and Senate Rules committee. Next stop is the Senate floor. TU supports this bill.

Future Guest Speakers

The AZTU Public Policy Committee (PPC) hosts a virtual meeting on the second Thursday of the month at 7:00 until 8:00 PM. If you are interested, please email [email protected].

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.

Legislation 101

How a bill becomes a law

For many of us, the process by which a bill becomes law in AZ can be confusing. Click HERE for a quick review of this process.

How to find who your legislators are

Click HERE to find your state representatives/legislators.

How to find your district

Click HERE for your district locater.

How to sign up to Request To Speak (RTS) at the House/Senate

Click HERE for information and upcoming agendas.

The Public Policy Committee meets:

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

Contact email [email protected] for more information or to attend