October 25, 2012
The Grand Canyon has been called many things, but perhaps the most fitting title is "national treasure."Legislators in Arizona, however, think that title is inaccurate. They claim that it's an "Arizona" treasure owned by the state of Arizona, and they want to make it official.Arizona voters will decide a referendum on Nov. 6 that would amend the Arizona constitution and declare sovereign control over air, water, minerals, wildlife and public lands. If passed, Arizona could lay claim to all federal land in the state except military bases, Indian reservations, national parks and some wilderness areas—a total seizure of some 25 million acres. Once control has been claimed, Arizona legislators have vowed to expand logging and mining activities on those lands.The vote is just the latest in an ongoing public lands battle in the West.
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