Arizona State Legislature Approves Outdoor Recreation Resolution
On February 3, Arizona Senator TJ Shope’s outdoor recreation resolution passed on the Senate floor with unanimous, bipartisan support (28-0). The resolution was then transmitted to the House where it was unanimously approved. We are so proud of the Arizona State Legislature recognizing the importance of outdoor recreation for community wellness and our state’s economy!
Please take a moment to call or email your state representatives and thank them for their support!
Whereas, communities across Arizona recognize that outdoor recreation supports health, contributes to a high quality of life and attracts and sustains employers and families; and
Whereas, scientific research shows that both children and adults are spending more time inside than previous generations, are increasingly distanced from nature, are engaging in less physical exercise and are at an increased risk for poor health because of sedentary practices; and
Whereas, research shows that time spent in nature by all people can lead to physical, developmental and behavioral health benefits; and
Whereas, there is significant value in providing opportunities for the people of this state to experience awe-inspiring moments while gazing and reflecting on the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon State’s uniquely spectacular outdoor places; and
Whereas, quality time in the natural world encourages curiosity and provides hands-on field experience and experiential learning, resulting in improved learning across various fields of science; and
Whereas, outdoor pursuits result in a unique and intimate relationship with the land, wildlife, clean water, clear skies and cultural resource protection; and
Whereas, the outdoor industry in Arizona is a major economic engine that brings jobs, prosperity and wellness to all state residents. The outdoor industry employs 201,000 people and annually generates $21.2 billion in consumer spending and $1.4 billion in local and state tax revenues; and
Whereas, public lands represent a significant portion of this state’s land base and are critical components of a healthy outdoor environment that are low cost to access and ubiquitous for all residents; and
Whereas, fostering equity of access to outdoor opportunities is fundamental to ensuring that all state residents can enjoy Arizona’s natural resources; and
Whereas, investments in outdoor spaces and amenities will serve to enhance the quality and quantity of outdoor experiences for all Arizonans.
Therefore, be it resolved by the Senate of the State of Arizona, the House of Representatives concurring:
1. That the Members of the Legislature recognize that it is critical for the physical, mental and social well-being of Arizona’s residents that the state promote healthy, active lifestyles filled with outdoor experiences of all types for Arizona residents, while respecting private property rights.
2. That the Members of the Legislature recognize that each resident in Arizona should have the opportunity to:
(a) Enjoy and observe nature and wildlife in Arizona through activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, backpacking, trail running, trail riding, mountain biking, four-wheeling, rock climbing, stargazing, wildlife watching or just wandering in the outdoors.
(b) Learn about, appreciate and respect indigenous cultural resources, petroglyphs, pictographs, ancient habitation sites and sacred landscapes as places best left undisturbed.
(c) Explore Arizona’s parks, forests, public lands and wild places.
(d) Experience Arizona’s mountains, deserts, grasslands and canyons.
(e) Gaze at a starry sky or sleep outdoors in a tent.
(f) Bring along a friend to discover nearby nature right outside one’s own backyard and beyond.
(g) Splash or refresh in Arizona’s rivers, lakes, streams and hot springs.
(h) Follow a trail.
(i) Plant a seed, tend a garden or create a wildlife habitat garden.
(j) Be a steward and take care of Arizona’s outdoor places and landscapes so future generations will also be able to enjoy these precious assets.