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Proposition 120: The Arizona State Legislature's Historic Land Grab


Proposition 120 would amend the Arizona Constitution to state that Arizona “declares its sovereign and exclusive authority and jurisdiction over the air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources within its boundaries.”  Tribal lands and military installations are the only lands excluded.  In effect, the Constitutional amendment would set in motion a demand by the state that all federal lands – National Parks, forests, wildlife refuges, monuments, wilderness areas, recreation areas, historic lands, and more – are turned over to state or private ownership.  The proposition would affect roughly 25 million acres of federal land.  Voters will decide the fate of Proposition 120 by voting on it November 6, 2012. 



- The privatization of National Parks, forests, and all other public lands.  This includes six National Forests, 20 National Park units, 90 wilderness areas, and dozens of wildlife refuges and units of the National Conservation Lands system. 

-  Billions of dollars of new liability for the State.  Federal land management agencies employ thousands of Arizonans and spend billions of dollars managing our parks, forests, and public lands.  The state doesn’t have a fraction of the resources to properly manage these lands. 

-  Loss of access to public lands, including recreation, hunting, tourism, and other activities that occur across the federal domain. 

-  The sale of our Arizona’s crown jewels, like Grand Canyon National Park.  Lawmakers backing Proposition 120 have made their intent clear – they don’t want to manage these lands for public benefit, they want to sell them off.  This is despite the fact that in the last 100 years, the State Land Office has sold less than 10% of the lands given to Arizona at statehood.  Arizona still owns more than 9 million acres of State Trust Lands – why demand 25 million more? 

-  A fundamentally different – and worse-off – Arizona.  Our parks, forests, and public lands are a defining characteristic of Arizona, fuelling our economy, supporting our wildlife heritage, and sustaining our quality of life.  Without our public lands, what does Arizona become? 


Talking Points

  • Arizona’s Parks, Forests, and public lands offer more to Arizonans quality of life, wildlife heritage, and economy than they ever would to Arizona’s pocketbook. 

  • Our public lands heritage is a defining characteristic of Arizona – from the Grand Canyon to the Chiricahuas, our national icons have shaped who we are and leave a lasting mark on our individual freedoms and rights to experience and enjoy the great outdoors.

  • 90% of Arizonans believe that “Our national parks, forests, monuments, and wildlife areas are an essential part of Arizona’s economy.” – 2012 State of the Rockies Poll.

  • Prop 120 would be a budgetary boondoggle for Arizona, requiring billions in management and liability needs – money we don’t have to spend. 

  • our natural and historic icons belong to all Arizonans and all Americans, not to the Arizona legislature.

You Can Get Involved in Defeating Proposition 120

We must send a strong message to the legislature that Arizona’s public lands heritage is off-limits to their ill-conceived land grab.  If we don’t, we will see more attempts to dismantle our parks, forests, and public lands. 

In addition to voting NO on Prop 120, you can get involved by:

  • Submitting a ballot argument that all voters will receive in their voter pamphlet.  DEADLINE IS JULY 11.  See for instructions.

  • Making a donation to the campaign that is fighting Prop. 120.  Check payable to “No on Prop 120 – Stop Legislature’s Land Grab” and send to: 202 E. McDowell Rd.  Suite 277, Phoenix, AZ  85004

  • Writing a letter to the editor in your local or regional newspaper that conveys your opposition to Prop 120

  • Volunteering to attend events and hand out information about Prop. 120.  Contact Carolyn Campbell at

  • Telling your family, friends and neighbors about Prop 120 and why to Vote NO! 


-Arizona Wilderness Coalition mission statement