wild lands of Arizona made a friend last November with the election
of Raúl M. Grijalva to the United States House of Representatives.
Grijalva (Gree-HALL-va) joins the Arizona Congressional Delegation
from Tucson, where he formerly acted as the chair of the Pima County
Board of Supervisors. His district incorporates part of Tucson,
south to Nogales, west to Yuma, and north to La Paz County - the second
largest district in the state.
Pima County, Grijalva was an unwavering champion of land conservation,
worker's rights, and education. Now in Congress, he already
shines as an advocate for the protection of public lands, environmental
laws, and public involvement in shaping land management policy.
Recently appointed to chair the Democratic Environmental Caucus, the
congressman is already recognized as one of the leading voices for
his inauguration just 5 months ago, he has 'hit the ground running'
with a pro-environment position that makes southern Arizona a national
leader in environmental issues. To date, just some of the work
the Congressman has done to promote a healthy, vibrant landscape:
Drafted and delivered a letter to Interior Secretary Norton,
which gained 27 other House signatures, requesting that she allow
the public process to continue at Grand Canyon National Park, thereby
ensuring fair consideration of all stakeholder concerns--including
wilderness protection--for Colorado River management.
Signed on to a letter to Interior Secretary Norton urging the Department
of the Interior to not process suspect claims that would allow roads
to be built and traveled upon in Wilderness Areas and other sensitive
on to a letter to President Bush raising concerns over the administrations
attempts to undercut public involvement in land management issues,
including exemptions to the National Environmental Policy Act, National
Forest Management Act, and the Appeals Reform Act.
against the Healthy Forest Initiative, a terrible forest-health
bill that would result in the commercial timber industry having
almost free reign on cutting old trees in the name of "restoration"
- all without the public having the opportunity to comment.
a pro-wilderness speech at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
Co-sponsored the National Forest Protection and Restoration
Act - a sensible public lands bill that would eliminate old-growth
logging and all commercial timber operations in Inventoried Roadless
the National Roadless Area Protection Act - a bill that will provide
everlasting protection for remaining roadless areas on National
Forests. Over 1.1 million acres of Arizona's forests would
be protected from roads, commercial logging, and development under
the Arizona Voluntary Grazing Permit Buyout bill, which will
allow ranchers to opt-out of their grazing leases on public land
and reduce the impact of cattle on ecosystems.
Congressman Grijalva is living up to his reputation of being a strong
advocate for open spaces and healthy landscapes. As he
continues his tenure in the House of Representatives, Arizonans will
look to Grijalva to lead the march for Wilderness in Arizona.