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Arizona State Land Commissioner Vanessa Hickman, second from left, told a House panel that a bill to streamline the land-exchange process would unlock surface and subsurface land to revenue-generating uses, such as commercial, wind and solar development.

State Land Commissioner Vanessa Hickman told a House panel that a bill to streamline public-land exchanges in the West could make for more sensible and environmentally sensitive development. And that could mean more trust land money to go to local schools, she said. Read more» 1

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking comment on its preferred route for the proposed SunZia power transmission line, which would run from New Mexico to Arizona. A final decision on the line could come later this summer.

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»

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, right, with supporters of his bill to ease grazing and logging on federal lands to curb wildfires, Gila County Supervisor Tommie Martin and Andy Groseta, left, of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association.

Proponents of a bill to let ranchers and loggers operate more freely on federal land said last week that changes are needed to give the U.S. Forest Service help clearing forests before wildfires can break out. But critics said the public and private partnerships envisioned in the bill could open the door to environmentally harmful use of the land. Read more»

A landscape in Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument.

The federal government’s plan to manage two national monuments in the Arizona Strip doesn’t sufficiently protect the environment or endangered species, a group of conservation organizations told a judge Wednesday. Read more»