Editor: An increasing number of Arizonans place a high value on public lands according to a new poll from Colorado College’s annual Conservation in the West poll, which surveys residents in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and other Western states on issues of climate, energy and public lands. 63% of respondents say the ability to live near and enjoy public lands like national forests, parks, or trails are a big reason why they live in states like Arizona. This is all the reason we need to start actively protecting Arizona’s public lands for future generations.

A bill in the Arizona State Legislature is a great opportunity to begin that conversation. HB2271, sponsored by Tim Dunn, would establish the first Saturday in April as Arizona Public Lands Day, and is a high-profile way for the state to express its support for public lands and outdoor recreation without requiring any state funding or new regulations.

From community playgrounds to the Grand Canyon, from wildlife refuges to historic sites, our public lands should be honored and preserved for years to come. I'm thrilled our legislators agree that it's time for an Arizona Public Lands Day.

Brad Powell, Southwest Region Director of Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited and President of Arizona Wildlife Federation

Mesa

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