U.S. Representative Martha McSally today reintroduced bipartisan legislation, The Udall Park Land Exchange Completion Act, to help expand and improve Tucson’s Udall Park. The bill resolves a long-standing land disagreement between the City of Tucson and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that has impeded Tucson’s ability to fully utilize the 172.8-acre parcel of land it sits on.
“Resolving this land conflict is important for our local community,” said McSally in a statement from her office. “This legislation is a commonsense solution that can help Tucson expand Udall Park and improve its facilities going forward. I am determined to continue to work with city leaders and my colleagues from the Arizona delegate in the House and Senate to overcome bureaucratic obstacles and bring closure to this long-standing issue. I am thankful to partner with Senator Flake to move towards resolution.”
“The City of Tucson’s ability to fully use Udall Park is being hampered by BLM’s foot dragging. This bill removes federal red tape and completes a 25-year-old land exchange. I look forward to working with Rep. McSally to cut this red tape,” said Senator Jeff Flake.
“Udall Park is an iconic place in Tucson where thousands of families enjoy outdoor activities at no cost. Appropriately, it is named after a great conservationist and public servant, Mo Udall. Completing this land transfer from the federal government allows us to better plan for expansion and enhance amenities at the park,” said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “I want to thank the bill’s authors, Senator Flake, Senator McCain and Representative McSally, along with the Arizona Congressional delegation for their bi-partisan support of the bill.”
“I want to thank the Arizona Congressional delegation for working with the City to protect Udall Park for its use by our citizens. We are committed to adding improvements to the park that will further our community’s experience with it. This legislation provides the clarification needed for us to move ahead,” stated Councilmember Paul Cunningham.
On May 16, 1980, the City of Tucson leased over 172 acres from BLM for the creation of what would become Udall Park. On June 26, 1989, the City of Tucson entered into negations to transfer 297 acres of rural land recently purchased for $4 million to BLM for the title of the land currently used for Udall Park. Those negotiations were finalized later that year on October 4, 1989.
The Udall Park Land Exchange Completion Act removes a reversion clause contained in the 1989 agreement, providing full autonomy and ownership for Udall Park to the City of Tucson.
Read the full bill text HERE.
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