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Arizona’s Rep. Grijalva praises passage of conservation bill

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 5:03 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC/AP) - Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) praised last week’s House passage of the Great American Outdoors Act.

“It’s a big plus,” he said. “This was a good piece of legislation.”

Grijalva said the legislation is a “big win for conservation”. He said the bill will bring much needed funding to Arizona’s parks, like Saguaro National Park, Buenos Aires Wildfire Refuge, Montezuma Castle National Monument and the Grand Canyon.

“Immediately, you look at the Grand Canyon and the need for a water and sewer system,” Grijalva said.

The bipartisan bill allocates $3 billion to conservation projects and provides funding for maintenance backlogs on public lands.

The legislation also permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Of the $3 billion of funding, the government will spend $900 million per year, double the current spending for the Fund. The Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition notes the Fund will help keep drinking water supplies safe, connect trail networks and expand wildlife habitat and sportsmen’s access.

The Arizona congressman is hopeful the improvements will encourage more Americans to visit the parks and public lands.

“I think because of what’s happened with the economy and the pandemic that they’re gonna see more visitors in the two or three years, people that won’t have the money to spend on an extended vacation out of country,” he said.

The bill is not yet signed by President Trump, but he has shown his support for the bill in a tweet, calling it “historic”.

Watch our interview with Rep. Grijalva above.

Copyright 2020 Gray DC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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