VOTE YES ON PROP 119
Proposition 119, a constitutional amendment on the November 2012 ballot, would authorize the trade of state trust lands for federally owned land to preserve and protect military facilities in Arizona, and to improve the management of trust lands. It would allow Arizona to address incompatible uses encroaching upon military bases, such as the Barry M. Goldwater Range, Luke Air Force Base, Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Fort Huachuca, Yuma Proving Grounds, and the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. Additionally, Prop 119 would lead to increased revenues for public education, and allow trust lands with conservation values to be converted to public use and managed for their ecological, scenic open space, and recreational values.
Yes on Prop 119 would accomplish the following:
- Preserve Arizona’s military facilities by preventing encroachment on bases. Military assets in Arizona provide an economic impact of $9.1 billion, and support over 96,000 jobs.
- Generate revenue for Arizona’s school children by allowing the Arizona State Land Department to trade state lands for Federal lands that can be developed.
- Provide an important tool to protect Arizona’s natural treasures by allowing those lands to be placed in conservation management.
Organizations and Individuals Supporting Yes on Prop 119
- Sonoran Institute
- The Nature Conservancy
- Grand Canyon Trust
- Sierra Club
- Arizona League of Conservation Voters
- Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection
- The Wilderness Society
- McDowell Sonoran Conservancy
- Tucson Audubon Society
Business and Civic Organizations
- Arizona Chamber of Commerce
- Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce
- Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Sierra Vista Area Chamber of Commerce
- Valley Partnership
- East Valley Partnership
Key Individual Supporters
- Senator John McCain, Co-Chair
- General Eugene D. Santarelli, RET, Co-Chair
- General R. Thomas Browning, RET, Co-Chair
- Jim Babbit, Co-Chair
- General Ronald E. Shoopman, RET
- General Robert Johnston, RET
- Senator John Nelson
- Representative Debbie Lesko, Arizona House Majority Whip
- Maria Baier, Arizona State Land Commissioner
State trust lands, a unique category of lands granted to Arizona upon statehood, are held in trust to generate revenue for public schools. There are approximately 9.2 million acres of state trust lands in Arizona that, according to the Arizona State Constitution, must be awarded to the highest bidder at competitive auction. However, many of these trust landshave significant value in terms of recreation, scenic open space, wildlife habitat, and as a buffer for military installations in the state. While Congress amended the Arizona Enabling Act in 1936 to allow the trade of state trust lands for other private or public lands, in 1990 the Arizona Supreme Court ruled those transactions to be unconstitutional. Proposition 119 would restore the ability of the Arizona State Land Department to engage in land trades for the purposes of military base preservation and to improve the management of state trust lands. In 2010, a similar measure was narrowly defeated at the ballot. Prop 119 has been refined and improved based on feedback from the 2010 election.
Noteworthy Provisions of Prop 119
Proposition 119’s provisions demonstrate a commitment to an open, transparent, and inclusive process for land exchanges in Arizona:
- Authorizes government to government land trades for the purpose of protecting military facilities or for improved management, protection, and conversion to public use of state trust lands.
- Requires any trade to be consistent with the State Land Commissioner’s responsibilities as delineated in the Enabling Act and Arizona State Constitution, and ensures that any trade is in the best interest of the trust land beneficiaries.
- Requires at least two independent appraisals ensuring that the value of the lands being received is equal to the value of lands being traded. Land trades are based on value for value NOT acre for acre.
- Requires at least two independent analyses that examine: the fiscal impact of the trade on the state trust’s income; the physical, economic, and natural resource impacts to the adjoining communities; and the impact of the trade on local land use and general plans.
- Includes extensive public notice and comment periods, and various public hearings throughout the process.
- Requires that any trade MUST be approved by a vote of the public during a regular general election.