File Photo By June Lowery: Aravaipa Creek is a lush riparian area in the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness. The BLM is seeking to purchase 2,800 acres of privately owned land northeast of the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness.
Agency seeks public input on proposed land acquisition
Contributed Article/Courtesy BLM
SAFFORD – On Thursday, the Bureau of Land Management’s Safford Field Office released an environmental analysis proposing to acquire 2,800 acres of privately owned land northeast of the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness from a willing seller. The 30-day public comment period for the proposed acquisition ends April 2.
“This acquisition supports the BLM’s ongoing efforts to enhance landscape linkages and wildlife corridors while improving access for hunting and other recreational activities on public land,” said Safford Field Manager Scott Cooke. “We are excited about the increased opportunities this acquisition will provide.”
The proposed acquisition, in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, would utilize Land and Water Conservation Fund Sportsmen/Recreation Access assets to improve wildlife corridors for mule deer, white-tailed deer, desert bighorn sheep, black bear, and Gould’s turkey. It would also create recreational access to 30,000 acres of currently inaccessible BLM land and 9,000 acres of other public lands.
The areas include BLM lands in the Galiuro and Santa Teresa Mountains (including Aravaipa Canyon and the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness), U.S. Forest Service lands in the Santa Teresa Mountains (including the Santa Teresa Wilderness), and Arizona State Trust lands, all that provide linkage between the two landscapes.
The BLM received letters of support for the proposed acquisition from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation, Arizona Wildlife Federation, and The Nature Conservancy.
Public comments may be submitted via ePlanning, by email to email@example.com with the subject line: “Aravaipa Canyon Access EA”, or by U.S. mail addressed to BLM Safford Field Office, Attn: Scott Cooke, 711 South 14th Avenue, Safford, AZ 85546.
About the BLM
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in the fiscal year 2019—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.