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Enviros ‘auction’ Grand Canyon to illustrate threat to public lands

A conservation group held a mock “auction” of the Grand Canyon Wednesday to illustrate what they said could happen if Congress strips the president’s authority to identify and protect national monuments.... Read more»

State officials urge Congress to continue aid to counties with large federal lands

Local leaders from Arizona and other states urged Congress to safeguard the payment in lieu of taxes, which reimburses counties for untaxable federal land and is vital to county budgets. ... Read more»

Attorneys spar over withdrawing Grand Canyon-area land from uranium mining

A lawyer representing the Havasupai Tribe and environmental groups says the decision to withdraw 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon from new uranium-mining claims for 20 years will protect cultural and natural resources. Mining groups say the move interferes with their rights. ... Read more»

After big-blaze years, Az has rare ‘typical’ wildfire season so far

Halfway through the year, Arizona has seen a larger number of smaller fires than last year, allowing crews to react quickly, stay safe and keep firefighting costs within budget, officials said. ... Read more»

Feds pay $3.5M to Az counties to supplement property taxes, future funds unsure

The funds were from the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program, which pays local governments for property taxes they can't collect on federal lands within their borders. The decades-old program was almost not funded in 2014, and future funding is not guaranteed. ... Read more»

Land fight nears end for Coconino homeowners

It took a wildfire, three Congresses and years of work, but some Coconino County residents may soon be able to make their properties whole again. The Senate has approved a bill correcting a 50-year-old surveying error that had put some private homes in the national forest. ... Read more»

House panel considers land-swap to expand Cibola Wildlife Refuge

The bill would swap 80 acres of federally owned land in California's Riverside County for 40 acres of private farmland abutting the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge in La Paz County that is important habitat and wintering grounds for migratory birds and other wildlife." ... Read more»

BLM appoints new Southern Arizona manager

The Bureau of Land Management has picked a new head of the Tucson Field Office of the agency's Gila District. Vi Hillman has been an associate district manager Colorado River District in Lake Havasu City, where she has worked since 2009.... Read more»

Desert storm brews over Obama renewable energy plan

America’s deserts are stark, quiet places, where isolation and the elements have long kept development at bay. To outsiders, these arid expanses may not seem like prized land. But they are poised to play a key role — and perhaps, to serve as a battleground — in President Obama's plan to double U.S. electricity from wind, solar, and geothermal sources by 2020.... Read more»

Enviro groups raise fears over route for NM-Az power line

Environmental groups are expressing concerns about the preferred route for the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project, a proposed power line that would run from New Mexico to Southeastern Arizona.... Read more»

Feds approve solar-power project proposed near Quartzsite

Federal officials gave a green light Monday to a proposed 100-megawatt solar-power plant near Quartzsite, a project that supporters say could create 438 short-term construction jobs and 50 full-time jobs.... Read more»

Wild horse, burro roundups are costly, ineffective, study says

The federal government’s program of rounding up wild horses and burros is costly and does little to stem the growth of herds – and may actually be helping herds grow, a new report said Wednesday.... Read more»

Feds map 200k acres of Az public land with renewable energy potential

Nearly 200,000 acres are covered by the U.S. Interior Department announcement, which follows a three-year statewide environmental review. A federal official calls the designation a "go-to map" for those looking to develop large-scale solar and wind energy in Arizona. ... Read more»

Salazar moves to tighten wild horse sale rules

Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar says he will tighten regulations of the federal government's wild horse program, restricting the number of horses people can buy and making it easier for the government to prosecute buyers who sell mustangs to slaughter. ... Read more»1

Wild horse buyer under Colorado, federal investigation

A southern Colorado man under investigation for his handling of protected wild horses has admitted to state regulators that he shipped animals out of Colorado in violation of brand inspection laws, officials said. ... Read more»

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