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State land commissioner: Prop 119 victory will boost economy

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Arizona State Land Commissioner Maria Baier says passage of Proposition 119 will help the state’s economy, its military bases and land-conservation efforts.

The measure will amend the state Constitution to allow exchanges of state trust land to preserve military bases.

“This is one of the biggest things that has happened in Arizona land management in a very long time,” Baier said. “It’s a triple win.”

Mignonne Hollis, executive director of the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation, said the measure would also help preserve Fort Huachuca, where the Army tests sensitive electronics.

“This means Fort Huachuca is secure, in a nutshell,” Hollis said.

Supporters also point to auxiliary airfields used by Luke Air Force Base as an example of what will be protected by the change.

The state Constitution currently requires that millions of acres of trust land managed by the state be leased or sold to benefit education and other causes. That prevents the federal government from trading land elsewhere for state lands that guard against encroachment around bases.