U.S. Rep. McSally Bill to Protect & Improve Udall Park Passes Committee
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Martha McSally’s bill to expand and improve Udall Park today passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee with bipartisan support. The Udall Park Land Exchange Completion Act would complete a 28- year old land exchange between the City of Tucson and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), allowing Tucson to finally expand and improve the park to its full potential.
“It shouldn’t take an act of Congress to establish a farmers market in Udall Park, but this time it does. Federal red tape has held up the Udall Park land exchange for 28 years, preventing the City of Tucson from taking control of the land so that it can develop the park and grow it as a place for our local community to gather,” said Rep. McSally. “Passage of this bill today is an important step forward, and I will continue to move this bill through the legislative process so that we can resolve this issue once and for all.”
The bill’s passage out of the Natural Resources Committee comes less than two weeks after Congresswoman McSally and Tucson City Manager Michael Ortega testified in support of the legislation in Congress. Click HERE to watch their testimony.
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.
Next, the Udall Park Land Exchange Completion Act will be sent to the House floor for a vote.
To watch the Natural Resources Committee question BLM on why they refused to resolve the issue despite their authority and jurisdiction, and why Congress has to step in to resolve it, click below: