State Legislative Bills Need Your Attention

Here’s a message we received today from Katie Reeves, Executive Secretary for the Arizona Association of NRCDs:

The State Association has asked that this information be delivered to the NRCD Supervisors, Staff, Volunteers, and Cooperators as soon as possible. Included below are the status updates of important legislation that the AZ NRCD’s need to be aware of. Please note that some of the items require action, and we are requesting that everyone contact their Legislators in support of the listed bills. Please let me know if you have any questions, or need help contacting your Legislators.

SB 1167-NRCD Funding, is stalled in the Senate. Senate President and chairman of the Rules Committee, Andy Biggs won’t hear it in Rules. The bill will only remove the funding cap on the Districts, but he mistakenly thinks it will automatically increase spending. We are trying to get it on the floor as an amendment to another bill. If that happens, it will then go to the House.

SB 1214-NRCD Special Expertise, passed the Senate and has been heard in the House Natural Resources Committee. Will go to Rules next. Since there is no effect on the budget, it is expected to pass. Representative Pratt has said he will make sure it comes to the Floor.

HB 2342-State Forester Health Management, this wasn’t on our radar. It funds wildland clearing and forest thinning. Mandate $1.8 million per year from general fund. Also tells the State Forester to work with other agencies, including NRCDs as partners to plan and find additional funds for thinning. Passed the House and has had a 1st and 2nd reading in the Senate. Since it is a supplemental funding bill it could face the same fate as SB 1167 in Rules.

SB 1292-Arizona Resource Advisory Council, Establishes an AZ RAC as an advisory body to the BLM and other federal land management agencies, outlines membership and duties. The Governor, Senate President, and House Speaker each appoint several members according to certain criteria. They each can appoint a member who represents either a national or regional environmental or conservation organization. Passed the Senate and House.

Below is the legislature’s summary of the SB 1292.

House of Representatives

SB 1292

Arizona resource advisory council

Sponsor: Senator Griffin

DP
Committee on Energy, Environment and Natural Resources
X
Caucus and COW
House Engrossed

Overview
SB 1292 establishes the Arizona Resource Advisory Council (Council).

History

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) formed 29 Resource Advisory Councils (RACs) in the western states to provide advice on the management of public lands and resources. RAC recommendations address all public land issues, including: land use planning, recreation, noxious weeds, and wild horse and burro herd management areas. These federal RACs generally consist of citizens from the following three backgrounds: commercial and commodity interests, environmental and historical groups, and state and local government, Indian tribes, and the public at large.
The Department of the Interior and BLM established an RAC for Arizona under Section 309 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. The Arizona RAC is required to serve in an advisory capacity concerning the planning and management of the public land resources located within the state of Arizona.

Provisions

Council Members
· Establishes the Council with the following members:
Ø Three persons appointed by the governor, one of whom is a member of the federal RAC, and who either:
i. Holds a federal grazing permit or lease within this state;
ii. Represents interests associated with transportation or rights-of-way;
iii. Represents the commercial timber industry; or
iv. Represents the mineral or energy development industry.
Ø Two persons, one each appointed by the president of the Senate (President) and the speaker of the House of Representatives (Speaker) who either:
i. Holds a federal grazing permit or lease within this state;
ii. Represents interests associated with transportation or rights-of-way;
iii. Represents the commercial timber industry; or
iv. Represents the mineral or energy development industry.
Ø One person appointed by the governor who either:
i. Represents a nationally or regionally recognized environmental or conservation organization;
ii. Represents dispersed recreational activity interests;
iii. Represents archaeological or historical interests; or
iv. Represents a nationally or regionally recognized wild horse and burro interest group.
Ø A person who is employed by the State Land Department or the Department of Water Resources and who is appointed by the governor.
Ø Two persons, one each appointed by the President and the Speaker who either:
i. Represents dispersed recreational activity interests;
ii. Represents archaeological or historical interests; or
iii. Represents a nationally or regionally recognized wild horse and burro interest group.
Ø Two persons, one each appointed by the President and the Speaker who represents a nationally or regionally recognized environmental or conservation organization.
Ø A person who holds state, county or local elected office and who is appointed by the President.
Ø A person who is a professor at a university in Arizona, who specializes in natural resource management or natural sciences and who is appointed by the President.
Ø A person who represents Indian tribes in Arizona and who is appointed by the Speaker.
Ø A public member who is appointed by the Speaker.
Council Requirements; Restrictions and Responsibilities
· Requires the Council to elect a chairperson and vice-chairperson each calendar year.
· Stipulates that the initial Council members must assign themselves by lot to terms of one, two and three year terms.
Ø All subsequent members serve three-year terms.
Ø The chairperson must notify the appointing authority on appointment of these terms.
· Specifies

that Council members are not eligible for compensation but are eligible for reimbursement of expenses pursuant to statute.
· Prohibits

Council members from participating in any specific matter with the BLM in which the member has a direct financial interest.
· Authorizes

the chairperson of the Council to establish subcommittees for the purpose of compiling information or conducting research.
· Requires the Council to assume the following responsibilities:
Ø Act as an advisory body regarding the planning and management of federal land resources in Arizona;
Ø Develop

recommendations regarding land use planning, classification and retention, the management and disposal of federal lands within Arizona and any other matter on the request of the governor, President, Speaker or the state land commissioner; and
Ø Submit an annual report of its findings and recommendations to the governor, President and Speaker on or before December 31 and provide of copy of this report to the secretary of state.
Miscellaneous
· Provides a sunset date of January 1, 2024 for the Council.
· Repeals the Act on January 1, 2025.
· Contains

a purpose statement providing that the Legislature establish the Council to advise BLM and other federal land management agencies on the planning and management of federal land resources in Arizona.

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