A referendum to declare that the state has exclusive authority over all land within its borders has been rejected by Arizona voters.
Under Proposition 120, American Indian reservations and military bases would be exempt. [Read the full proposition]
In 1910, the U.S. Congress passed the Arizona-New Mexico Enabling Act, allowing Arizona to become a state. The Enabling Act also granted Arizona approximately 10.9 million acres of state trust land, subject to certain terms for the management, operation, use and disposition of those trust lands.
Proposition 120 would have amend the Arizona Constitution to declare the state's sovereign and exclusive authority and jurisdiction over the air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources within the state's boundaries.
"Our members, along with many others, have become frustrated and inflamed over the federal mis-management of our public lands," Arizona Farm Bureau Federation President Kevin Rogers said. "Proposition 120 draws a line and throws an anchor out to exhibit we are at wit's end."
Another supporter, State Rep. Chester Crandell of Heber, has said the referendum will increase Arizona's ability to use federally held land and to improve the management of Arizona's natural resources.
Opponents, like the Arizona Wilderness Coalition, have said Proposition 120 destroys Arizona's iconic public lands heritage.
"Proposition 120 is a budget disaster," said the coalition's vice president, Michael Quinlan. "Until the state manages to auction off your lands - and in a century they've managed to sell less than 10 percent of lands it already owns - Arizonans will pay to manage them. All Americans now pay that bill. Proposition 120 puts the entire bill on the tab of Arizona taxpayers."
The referendum would have amend by adding Article II.I and amending Article XX, paragraphs 4 AND 12.
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