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House subcommittee hears testimony on Grijalva's Great Bend of the Gila bill

A House subcommittee took up three bills to advance tribal co-management and preservation Wednesday, and one of the bills focused on a proposed Arizona conservation area.

At least 13 tribes have ties to lands southwest of Phoenix that are rich with petroglyphs and other forms of rock art.

A bill to create the Great Bend of the Gila Conservation Area would protect those lands from development.

Congressman Raul Grijalva testified that tribes should be more involved in bills concerning public lands management, such as the one he recently introduced.

“The Great Bend of the Gila Conservation Act represents nearly a decade of work to protect a culturally important and ecologically fragile landscape in my home in southern Arizona,” Grijalva said.

Conservationists, tribal members and archaeologists support the bill.

Ron Dungan was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2024.