Arizona Vote May Determine Fate of National Landmark


There is more on the line this election year than the political party for Arizona residents. When voters cast their ballots, they will be determining the fate of a national treasure along with choosing their presidential candidate. Proposition 120, backed by Arizona State Legislature Republicans, moves to give Arizona sovereignty over millions of acres of land in the state which are currently under the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the

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federal government. While the exact boundaries of the land in question are not entirely transparent, the area may include the Grand Canyon. The state claims that because the land is governed by the federal government, it leaves the state government unable to provide for its citizens by bringing jobs and business to a region composing from 34 to 41% of the state.

However, environmental agencies fear that the state will be unable to maintain and care for the national parks, and will undermine environmental protection legislation in favor of more profitable ventures such as logging, mining and drilling. This is only the latest in a years long legal tug-of-war between state and federal jurisdiction, and while no one has measured the popularity of the proposition, many question the motivation. With Arizona’s recent supreme court battle over illegal immigration, many question does the state really need another battle with the U.S. government to determine the constitutionality of their actions?

Content Courtesy of Reuters, Image Courtesy of Salon