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for people who care about the West

Public lands downside


One of the issues that this story didn’t include, but should have, is that our communities and school districts have no way of collecting tax revenues on federally owned public lands, but are still expected to provide the same level or quality of services (“Who sponsors, who pays,” HCN, 6/12/17). Currently, the state and federal governments own about 94 percent of the land in La Paz County, Arizona, which significantly impacts the health, education and job prospects of our residents. Yes, we would like some of those lands in our county transferred and sold to private ownership so we have increased tax revenue. The feds continue to close public lands to the public and we have to fight with them to access “our lands” for recreation. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., is trying to help his constituents by supporting bills that would allow the transfer of some of these lands. Don’t malign him for doing his job.

Jacque Price
La Paz County School Superintendent
Parker, Arizona