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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»

Feds to propose 3rd Az 'solar zone'

The Bureau of Land Management is set to identify a third parcel of land in Arizona on Friday as a potential site for development of utility-scale solar-power projects.... Read more»

All the missing horses: Are mustangs being sold for slaughter?

What happened to the wild horses Tom Davis bought from the government? The BLM has sold Davis at least 1,700 wild horses and burros since 2009, — 70 percent of the animals purchased through its sale program.... Read more»11

Large solar, wind projects close to federal green light

Federal officials said Tuesday that they are on track to decide by early next year whether two new utility-scale renewable-energy projects – one wind, one solar – can move forward in Arizona.... Read more»

Feds spotlight 2 Az sites for solar projects

The federal government identified two sites in Arizona Tuesday as hot spots for solar energy, part of a larger plan to spur development of utility-scale solar projects in six Western states. The Arizona sites cover just under 6,000 acres and have the potential to generate 663 megawatts of electricity,... Read more»

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