Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

November 7, 2007


Host:

Arizona Town Hall: Land Use Planning


  • More than 6 million people live in Arizona today, but according to state estimates that number will more than double by the year 2050. Participants in the 91st Arizona Town Hall met at the Grand Canyon in late October to recommend ways to plan for that growth while protecting our state’s views and values. Town Hall participants discuss some of their recommendations.
Guests:
  • Jamie Hogue - Deputy Arizona State Land Commissioner and Town Hall participant
  • Alberto Olivas - Acting Director, Maricopa Community Colleges' Center for Civic Participation


View Transcript

>>Richard Ruelas:
Tonight on Horizon: planning for twice as many Arizona residents in only four decades. Arizona town hall has some recommendations. And we take a look at the sovereign and legal status of Arizona's Native American tribes. Those stories are next on Horizon.

>>Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Good evening, I'm Richard Ruelas, welcome to Horizon. The 91st Arizona Town Hall has just released its recommendations for land use planning in our state. Town Hall participants tell us what they came up with in just a moment, but first David Majure shows us some of the things they discussed during their meeting at the Grand Canyon.

>>Bruce Babbitt:
Planning has for the most part in Arizona kind of been focused on the next subdivision, the details regarding the next shopping center, kind of inward looking at development piece by piece by piece. What gets lost in that is a larger vision.

>>David Majure:
Former Arizona governor and US Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt visited the Grand Canyon in October to share his vision of Arizona with about 150 participants in the 91st Arizona Town Hall. The topic of the town hall meeting was land use, the goal to decide how Arizona should plan for future growth. It looks like we can expect a lot of it. The State Department of Economic Security estimates that Arizona's current population of over 6 million people could more than double in just about 45-years.

>>Bruce Babbitt:
People come to Arizona for reasons. They come because of the pages of Arizona Highways. It's about the out of doors, the distant views, the red rocks, canyons, Sonoran Desert. But 6 million people going on 15 in the lifetimes of many residents, you know, we're just destroying the very values that draw people here and make it such an attractive place.

>>David Majure:
Searching for ways to avoid, that Town Hall participants met in small groups for three days to discuss a wide array of issues all tied to land use planning.

>>Town Hall Participant:
Is the issue that we don't have the water, or is the issue of getting the water to where we need it?

>>Lenore Stuart:
We're talking about illegal lot-splits. It's a very important issue because they're building out where there's no fire, no water, no roads. Then suddenly they've built this, and they want you to come back and take care of it for them.

>>Jack Sellers:
Right now the incentive to cities in their land planning typically is for sales tax. And that came up over and over again. How can you encourage the right kind of development in an area if sales tax is the primary driver?

>>Town Hall Participant:
It's a great statement, but I don't know if there is consensus on this.

>>David Majure:
Not everyone has to agree on a particular proposal, but an overall consensus is needed before it's included in Town Hall's official report of recommendations.

>>Steve Pierce:
The consensus so far has been, it seems like we're going towards more state regulation, more regional regulation. And I'm opposed to that. I think I know how to control my land and my water under my land. I know my land more than a state agency does.

>>Lisa Atkins:
It was a very good opening conversation, which certainly reinforced in my mind we have an outstanding group of people who are going to challenge each other all the way through this process.

>>Speaker:
Understandably because this is a huge issue that affects cattle growers and real estate and land developers and everything…

>>David Majure:
One of the most challenging issues is the management of State Trust Lands, about 10 million-acres were given to Arizona by the federal government at statehood. They're held in trust, leased and sold at auction to generate money for public education and other beneficiaries.

>>Carolyn Campbell:
If we're going to have simple measures, I think an absolutely essential piece to State Trust Land reform is the ability to purchase and conserve state trust lands for conservation without going to auction. So that communities, local governments and conservation groups can preserve lands. The other thing would be an evaluation process of which lands should be released for development, which lands should be preserved in perpetuity.

>>Steve Betts:
If you look at our urban areas, if you look at Maricopa County and Pima County in particular, look at Phoenix and Tucson, if you look at those areas we now have hundreds of thousands if not almost 1 million-acres, 1 million-acres of state trust land that is urbanized, that are literally leap-frogged over by growth, that we have passed over because we can't get those State Trust Lands moved to market. And so what we've been talking about in the session is how to make the State Land Department a real asset manager so they can make more money, so they can bring more of those lands to market and not leap-frog and sprawl over the State Trust Lands in the future.

>>David Majure:
But changing how State Trust Lands are managed typically requires amending the State Constitution, something voters have refused to do on several occasions.

>>Bruce Babbitt:
God bless the voters. As Mo Udall used to say, after he once lost an election he said, "The voters have spoken…the bastards." [laughter]

>>David Majure:
Babbitt says it's time to ask the voters to approve land exchanges between the federal and state government, so trust lands can be consolidated for the benefit of public education, conservation and development. But he also offered another suggestion, one he says does not require a constitutional amendment.

>>Bruce Babbitt:
I think the Arizona Legislature should pass a statute saying to each of the 15 counties, "you have the legal authority to look at the state lands in your county and to designate 50\% of those lands for open space, and those lands will be held off the market for 50-years."

>>David Majure:
It's an effort to buy time, to temporarily protect certain state lands from development until the state comes up with a long-term solution.

>>Bruce Babbitt:
This open space behind me didn't happen by accident. It happened because a guy named Teddy Roosevelt was out here in 1908. And he looked around and said, hey, this is really a national treasure. And he set about drawing boundaries which make sure that not just this canyon but the surrounding landscape is now part of a national park. We need to do that on a broader scale, you know. We don't need to make everything a national park, but it wouldn't hurt to have -- just have a vision of what the future holds for us.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Joining me to talk about the town hall recommendations is Jamie Hogue, Deputy Arizona State Land Commissioner and a Town Hall participant. And Alberto Olivas, Acting Director of the Maricopa Community Colleges' Center for Civic Participation. Mr. Olivas chaired one of the Town Hall discussion panels. Thanks for joining us this evening. The Grand Canyon is a great spot to start discussing conservation and land use. So good job in picking it, whoever had the job of picking the location. Jamie, we'll start with you. Seems like one of the big deals was, no one is really happy with the status quo, it seems. But what are the barriers to get us to enacting some of these growth initiatives we have? Or some of these growth plans we might have?

>>Jamie Hogue:
As you heard, the Arizona State Land Department, we have nearly 1 million-acres of land that's currently contained within our urban core. To develop these lands or deal with them in an orderly manner means the growth is sprawled outward. So we as a state have our air quality, infrastructure costs, there are a number of costs we're incurring at the state land department because we aren't able to do our jobs effectively.

>>Richard Ruelas:
One of the recommendations was to boost the size and power of the state land department. What would have to happen for that to take place?

>>Jamie Hogue:
In order to implement an effective and comprehensive state trust fund package, it would take a vote of the people in Arizona as well as congressional action. That would allow the state land department to be a true asset manager, to work collaboratively with local governments and deal with a number of the issues such as conservation that we heard earlier.

>>Alberto Olivas:
And that really was an issue that found great consensus, almost unanimity among the town hall participants. Not just assigning a lot more responsibility to the land department but saying they need more resources to be able to do all this work. They need to be able to recover some of the funds generated from the sale and lease of state trust lands in order to manage and plan for them more effectively. And along with a number of other agencies, you asked what are the barriers. The way we currently fund a lot of the municipal functions kind of puts cities and towns in the position where they have to prioritize other things beyond conservation and land planning.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And I guess they mentioned the sales tax thing, the idea that a city if they're going to get on this growth bandwagon needs to plant some houses and attract the big box retailers that then provide the city its money. How would we break that cycle?

>>Alberto Olivas:
There are a number of recommendation that is came out from the town hall participants that went beyond just saying, you know, the cities have to stop their evil developers. I was glad that recommendations really were sophisticated to the point of saying; here are the things we want for our communities, and here's how we can approach getting that in a more collaborative fashion by providing meaningful incentives to builders and developers that accomplish goals for them but also allow cities and towns to manage how they grow and how they develop in a way that is beneficial.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And you came to the issue that as an outsider you must have gotten a real crash course in land, which we're already deep into it. I mean, it's a very tough topic for people to get their arms around. At the ballot box it just almost seems that confusion over the issue has made people just vote no. What kind of things did you pick up coming into it as an outsider that might provide tips for how we get something to the voters that might be a decent idea?

>>Alberto Olivas:
One of the recommendations from the town hall was that there does need to be a series of ballot measures to really reform how we deal with our state trust lands and what authorities the land department has. But to break those up into smaller chunks as opposed to in the past we've seen ballot measures put before voters that were very complicated and had a whole number of issues related to state trust lands management. A number of people I spoke to said the voters are opposed to these kinds of changes. But having worked in the area of elections and voter outreach for nearly a decade, my experience with voters and trying to explain ballot measures to voters is that they will vote no if they don't understand what it is. And I heard specifically for those previous ballot measures on state trust land, people said, I don't understand what all these changes are. And it's too much. And I'm just going to vote no. Until they get us something that I can understand.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And we'll let you kick off the campaign. If one of the ballot measures needs to be giving the state land department more and this asset management idea, give us the political speech that would convince a voter, just that chunk alone, why the department needs more assets to manage this stuff.

>>Jamie Hogue:
I think if the town hall recommendations are correct, and we should do this in a smaller, slower, a few steps at a time approach, I think that first priority should be providing the state land department with the resources that it needs to do its job and make it a true asset manager. That can be accomplished in the same manner that a number of other states have done, and that is allowing the trust to retain a portion of its growth in the revenues that it generates. It operates more like a business and provides an incentive to continue to do a really good job because you only survive as long as you provide growth in the revenue stream. The other part of that is, I think the town hall really came around to the point that conservation and sustainability are something that are a growing concern in Arizona. I think that funding for the department has to be paralleled with some means of dealing with conservation lands in the state.

>>Richard Ruelas:
I guess, is it -- we saw that map. And I guess it would be nice to see it in more detail. Because it sounds like there's a lot of state land that's been passed over as we grow. Has it just been too difficult that people for the state land department to sell that land and make it worthwhile to developers?

>>Jamie Hogue:
I think the biggest hurdle we have is resources. To do a really good job at planning and bringing a piece of land to the market or to auction in our case there's a certain amount of work you want to do ahead of time. You don't want to sell just raw land. You can create value by doing planning and working with the local jurisdictions to get guarantees in place before you sell the land. Going through that process, we currently, our average is about 3400-acres a year is what we sell at auction. If you consider that there's going to be a doubling of our population and we have 1 million-acres of trust land in the urban areas we're already way behind. You could go a couple hundred years and we wouldn't be beyond that first million acres that's in there right now.

>>Alberto Olivas:
If you were to look at that map in detail, state trust land, you'd see it's made up of a huge number of very small parcels that are not contiguous. So another key recommendation from the town hall is to give the land department the authority to make land exchanges with other public lands.

>>Richard Ruelas:
So to create larger parcels.

>>Alberto Olivas:
Exactly. Establish larger parcels that are more commercially viable for development and then assemble other parcels that are larger parcels for conservation.

>>Richard Ruelas:
We certainly heard from one developer, whether representatives from the major home builders or companies saying again, boy, we like things where they are building these communities.

>>Alberto Olivas:
That was maybe a surprise for me. But in the panel that I chaired, we had a number of representatives of developers and builders. And they're very much in favor of these kinds of changes. As one of them put it, our mountains and our washes and our desert features and all of the wonderful things that we have in Arizona and our various terrains are our beachfront property. They used that phrase often. So it is in the interests of developers to be able to have large areas set aside for conservation that then the lands that border that can be developed are much more valuable. They're worth more.

>>Richard Ruelas:
I guess we are seeing developments that sort of promise sustainability, to communities, work, live, play, or even meet your neighbors which we didn't see before. A lot of town hall reports end up on the shelf. What do you expect as we wrap up here? What do you expect to come out of this one?

>>Jamie Hogue:
Well, this might be my own self-interest, but the governor is currently working on a state trust land reform package now. I'm hoping this package seems to be consistent with what she's working on. I'm hoping this first convinces folks in Arizona that it's time to support a change.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Well, as we get to maybe a ballot measure we'll have you both back here to try to again sell it to voters. Jamie Hogue, Alberto Olivas, thanks for joining us this evening.

>>Jamie Hogue:
Thank you.

>>Alberto Olivas:
Thank you

>>Richard Ruelas:
Over the next several weeks -- on Wednesday nights -- we'll be taking a look at a variety of issues that affect Arizona's Native American tribes. Tonight the first in a series of videos produced by "generation seven strategic partners" and Ivan Makil, former president of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. The topic is tribal sovereignty.

>>Ben Nighthorse Campbell:
In our constitution tribes are recognized as sovereign governments such as Great Britain or France or other countries. So it stands to reason that if the United States in its history made a treaty with a tribe, they should have stuck by them just as they do if they make a treaty with France or Germany or Great Britain.

>>Seth Waxman:
The relationship between the United States as a national government and the Indian tribes is a form of sovereign to sovereign relationship. In the United States we have a complicated form of sovereignty. It's not like in the old days when there was a king or an absolute leader and that was the sovereign and everybody else, you know, was under the sovereignty of that leader. In the United States, we have sort of a divided form of sovereignty. So we have the national government, we have state governments, and each has certain incidents of sovereignty. There are certain respects in which under the constitution individuals have, you know, rights of self-determination and rights of governance. Indian tribes in a very special way that probably is unique in the world have rights of sovereignty that precede the founding of the united states, predate the founding of the United States, that was recognized by European colonists, recognized by colonies, and recognized by the founders of the country both under the articles of confederation and particularly under the constitution.

>>Tom Daschle:
Sovereignty, it was and is the essence of tribal governance. Tribes have to have the ability to make decisions affecting their people. That sovereignty was a guarantee in the treaties. But the sovereignty is less meaningful if it doesn't mean economic freedom. Because dependence upon others, especially upon government, means you forego so much of the economic freedom that is understood to be part of the definition of sovereignty.

>>Seth Waxman:
I would think that it's a very positive development to try and make people aware, both Indian and non-Indian people, about the concept of tribal sovereignty, even if the concept itself is a terribly complicated one. And our system of government, all our systems of government depend upon having a populace as educated as possible about how government is structure and how you participate and why it's important to participate. That's as true at the tribal level as at the national level.

>>Dale Kildee:
Indian tribes in this country have sovereignty, a real sovereignty, a retained sovereignty. It's not something given to them by the United States. They had it before the European settlers ever arrived here. And our constitution recognizes that. Article I section viii says the congress shall have power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states and with the Indian tribes. That tells the three sovereignties that this constitution recognizes that. Does not grant you the sovereignty, it recognizes it. It doesn't grant France its sovereignty it, recognizes the sovereignty of the other countries and the states. So it's a real sovereignty. That's very, very important. And John Marshall has stated very clearly in his statement, he said, "the Indian nations had always been considered as distinct, independent, political communities." John Marshall, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. We've applied the word "treaty and nation to Indians as we've applied them to the other nations of the earth. They are applied to all in the same sense." we have a real sovereignty. One time I was talking to another member of congress and showed that to him, he didn't believe in sovereignty. And he looked at that and he said, "Gee, I never realized that. They do have real sovereignty." then he said, "I still don't like it."I said, well, you probably don't like the income tax amendment, either. But you better pay your taxes, right?"

>>Seth Waxman:
That means Indian tribes are sovereigns. It doesn't mean they are absolute sovereigns and no other government can tell them what to do. They're what's known under the constitution as domestic attendant sovereigns. That is, they're fully encompassed by and they are citizens of the United States and of the states in which Indian peoples reside. But they retain certain incidents of a true sovereign, that is in terms of self-governance and self-determination and how these sort of competing sovereignties has developed since the United States was settled and North America was settled by European colonists and then came to be governed by an independent country is a fascinating and unbelievably complex story.

>>Ernest L. Stevens Jr.:
The recognition of our sovereignty is built into the United States Constitution and recognized that we have a retained right. And this is something that we're very proud of.

>>Seth Waxman:
In our country, and it just is true in Indian country as it is anywhere else, the real sovereigns are the people. That's why the constitution starts with the word "we, the people." all the government institutions and all the people who are elected are chosen to serve in them are people who are representing the people and are supposed to represent the people and the way that those institutions and individuals go wrong is when the true sovereigns, when the people who have elected them or chosen them to be their representatives aren't paying attention and aren't asking questions and aren't, you know, provoking them and making clear what it is that they think ought to be done.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Joining me is the executive producer of the video you just watched: former president of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian community, Ivan Makil. Thanks for joining us this evening.

>>Ivan Makil:
Thank you. Nice to be here.

>>Richard Ruelas:
We're looking forward to more segments like that. What did you hope to accomplish with these series of segments?

>>Ivan Makil:
An effort to educate people. It's so difficult to find good information, and particularly current information about American Indian tribes in this country that we thought it was really important to start to provide pieces that help educate people, and particularly from the tribal perspective.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Why do you think the barrier exists why some people who live off the tribe don't understand or seem to be afraid to ask questions of what life is like or what your culture is like?

>>Ivan Makil:
A lot of times it's fear, ignorance, and just information that isn't available. There's plenty of information in history books about drafters of the constitution. But there's not a lot of information in history books about the various contributions that tribes have made to the success and the growth of this country.

>>Richard Ruelas:
It seems like history sort of stops talking about native Americans right about the time that pilgrims get here, and then picks it up maybe when the casinos opened up. And there's a wide swath in the middle missing which I guess you're trying to fill the gaps in.

>>Ivan Makil:
Right.

>>Richard Ruelas:
What topics are we going to see covered over the next three weeks?

>>Ivan Makil:
We thought it was important to start with the foundation of what the actual legal status is of tribes. So we're covering that, talking about a new bill in congress called the American Indian heritage day bill, which recognizes the Friday after thanksgiving.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Interesting day to reflect on that.

>>Ivan Makil:
Pros and cons about that as well. But hopefully an opportunity to educate people and bring some awareness to Indian tribes.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Okay. And then economic development wraps us up in two weeks from now, right?

>>Ivan Makil:
Right. Hopefully letting people know the current status of tribes and how tribes, the kinds of things tribes are doing to help themselves and to continue to create sustainability economies.

>>Richard Ruelas:
We'll look forward to it. President Makil, thanks for joining us this evening on Horizon.

>>Ivan Makil:
Thank you very much.

>>Mike Sauceda:
A U.S. House of Representatives passed a revision of the 1872 mining law recently. We'll tell you what that could mean for mining in Arizona and around the nation. And an ASU researcher is working on a new memory device that will have a greatly-expanded amount of memory. Learn about the revolutionary device Thursday at 7:00 on Horizon.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Thank you for joining us on this Wednesday evening. I'm Richard Ruelas. We'll see you tomorrow. Good night.

Tribal Sovereignty


  • Throughout the month of November, HORIZON will look at key issues affecting Arizona's Native Americans tribes. Tonight, we hear from leaders in Washington, D.C. about tribal sovereignty.
Guests:
  • Jamie Hogue - Deputy Arizona State Land Commissioner and Town Hall participant
  • Alberto Olivas - Acting Director, Maricopa Community Colleges' Center for Civic Participation


View Transcript

>>Richard Ruelas:
Tonight on Horizon: planning for twice as many Arizona residents in only four decades. Arizona town hall has some recommendations. And we take a look at the sovereign and legal status of Arizona's Native American tribes. Those stories are next on Horizon.

>>Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Good evening, I'm Richard Ruelas, welcome to Horizon. The 91st Arizona Town Hall has just released its recommendations for land use planning in our state. Town Hall participants tell us what they came up with in just a moment, but first David Majure shows us some of the things they discussed during their meeting at the Grand Canyon.

>>Bruce Babbitt:
Planning has for the most part in Arizona kind of been focused on the next subdivision, the details regarding the next shopping center, kind of inward looking at development piece by piece by piece. What gets lost in that is a larger vision.

>>David Majure:
Former Arizona governor and US Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt visited the Grand Canyon in October to share his vision of Arizona with about 150 participants in the 91st Arizona Town Hall. The topic of the town hall meeting was land use, the goal to decide how Arizona should plan for future growth. It looks like we can expect a lot of it. The State Department of Economic Security estimates that Arizona's current population of over 6 million people could more than double in just about 45-years.

>>Bruce Babbitt:
People come to Arizona for reasons. They come because of the pages of Arizona Highways. It's about the out of doors, the distant views, the red rocks, canyons, Sonoran Desert. But 6 million people going on 15 in the lifetimes of many residents, you know, we're just destroying the very values that draw people here and make it such an attractive place.

>>David Majure:
Searching for ways to avoid, that Town Hall participants met in small groups for three days to discuss a wide array of issues all tied to land use planning.

>>Town Hall Participant:
Is the issue that we don't have the water, or is the issue of getting the water to where we need it?

>>Lenore Stuart:
We're talking about illegal lot-splits. It's a very important issue because they're building out where there's no fire, no water, no roads. Then suddenly they've built this, and they want you to come back and take care of it for them.

>>Jack Sellers:
Right now the incentive to cities in their land planning typically is for sales tax. And that came up over and over again. How can you encourage the right kind of development in an area if sales tax is the primary driver?

>>Town Hall Participant:
It's a great statement, but I don't know if there is consensus on this.

>>David Majure:
Not everyone has to agree on a particular proposal, but an overall consensus is needed before it's included in Town Hall's official report of recommendations.

>>Steve Pierce:
The consensus so far has been, it seems like we're going towards more state regulation, more regional regulation. And I'm opposed to that. I think I know how to control my land and my water under my land. I know my land more than a state agency does.

>>Lisa Atkins:
It was a very good opening conversation, which certainly reinforced in my mind we have an outstanding group of people who are going to challenge each other all the way through this process.

>>Speaker:
Understandably because this is a huge issue that affects cattle growers and real estate and land developers and everything…

>>David Majure:
One of the most challenging issues is the management of State Trust Lands, about 10 million-acres were given to Arizona by the federal government at statehood. They're held in trust, leased and sold at auction to generate money for public education and other beneficiaries.

>>Carolyn Campbell:
If we're going to have simple measures, I think an absolutely essential piece to State Trust Land reform is the ability to purchase and conserve state trust lands for conservation without going to auction. So that communities, local governments and conservation groups can preserve lands. The other thing would be an evaluation process of which lands should be released for development, which lands should be preserved in perpetuity.

>>Steve Betts:
If you look at our urban areas, if you look at Maricopa County and Pima County in particular, look at Phoenix and Tucson, if you look at those areas we now have hundreds of thousands if not almost 1 million-acres, 1 million-acres of state trust land that is urbanized, that are literally leap-frogged over by growth, that we have passed over because we can't get those State Trust Lands moved to market. And so what we've been talking about in the session is how to make the State Land Department a real asset manager so they can make more money, so they can bring more of those lands to market and not leap-frog and sprawl over the State Trust Lands in the future.

>>David Majure:
But changing how State Trust Lands are managed typically requires amending the State Constitution, something voters have refused to do on several occasions.

>>Bruce Babbitt:
God bless the voters. As Mo Udall used to say, after he once lost an election he said, "The voters have spoken…the bastards." [laughter]

>>David Majure:
Babbitt says it's time to ask the voters to approve land exchanges between the federal and state government, so trust lands can be consolidated for the benefit of public education, conservation and development. But he also offered another suggestion, one he says does not require a constitutional amendment.

>>Bruce Babbitt:
I think the Arizona Legislature should pass a statute saying to each of the 15 counties, "you have the legal authority to look at the state lands in your county and to designate 50\% of those lands for open space, and those lands will be held off the market for 50-years."

>>David Majure:
It's an effort to buy time, to temporarily protect certain state lands from development until the state comes up with a long-term solution.

>>Bruce Babbitt:
This open space behind me didn't happen by accident. It happened because a guy named Teddy Roosevelt was out here in 1908. And he looked around and said, hey, this is really a national treasure. And he set about drawing boundaries which make sure that not just this canyon but the surrounding landscape is now part of a national park. We need to do that on a broader scale, you know. We don't need to make everything a national park, but it wouldn't hurt to have -- just have a vision of what the future holds for us.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Joining me to talk about the town hall recommendations is Jamie Hogue, Deputy Arizona State Land Commissioner and a Town Hall participant. And Alberto Olivas, Acting Director of the Maricopa Community Colleges' Center for Civic Participation. Mr. Olivas chaired one of the Town Hall discussion panels. Thanks for joining us this evening. The Grand Canyon is a great spot to start discussing conservation and land use. So good job in picking it, whoever had the job of picking the location. Jamie, we'll start with you. Seems like one of the big deals was, no one is really happy with the status quo, it seems. But what are the barriers to get us to enacting some of these growth initiatives we have? Or some of these growth plans we might have?

>>Jamie Hogue:
As you heard, the Arizona State Land Department, we have nearly 1 million-acres of land that's currently contained within our urban core. To develop these lands or deal with them in an orderly manner means the growth is sprawled outward. So we as a state have our air quality, infrastructure costs, there are a number of costs we're incurring at the state land department because we aren't able to do our jobs effectively.

>>Richard Ruelas:
One of the recommendations was to boost the size and power of the state land department. What would have to happen for that to take place?

>>Jamie Hogue:
In order to implement an effective and comprehensive state trust fund package, it would take a vote of the people in Arizona as well as congressional action. That would allow the state land department to be a true asset manager, to work collaboratively with local governments and deal with a number of the issues such as conservation that we heard earlier.

>>Alberto Olivas:
And that really was an issue that found great consensus, almost unanimity among the town hall participants. Not just assigning a lot more responsibility to the land department but saying they need more resources to be able to do all this work. They need to be able to recover some of the funds generated from the sale and lease of state trust lands in order to manage and plan for them more effectively. And along with a number of other agencies, you asked what are the barriers. The way we currently fund a lot of the municipal functions kind of puts cities and towns in the position where they have to prioritize other things beyond conservation and land planning.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And I guess they mentioned the sales tax thing, the idea that a city if they're going to get on this growth bandwagon needs to plant some houses and attract the big box retailers that then provide the city its money. How would we break that cycle?

>>Alberto Olivas:
There are a number of recommendation that is came out from the town hall participants that went beyond just saying, you know, the cities have to stop their evil developers. I was glad that recommendations really were sophisticated to the point of saying; here are the things we want for our communities, and here's how we can approach getting that in a more collaborative fashion by providing meaningful incentives to builders and developers that accomplish goals for them but also allow cities and towns to manage how they grow and how they develop in a way that is beneficial.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And you came to the issue that as an outsider you must have gotten a real crash course in land, which we're already deep into it. I mean, it's a very tough topic for people to get their arms around. At the ballot box it just almost seems that confusion over the issue has made people just vote no. What kind of things did you pick up coming into it as an outsider that might provide tips for how we get something to the voters that might be a decent idea?

>>Alberto Olivas:
One of the recommendations from the town hall was that there does need to be a series of ballot measures to really reform how we deal with our state trust lands and what authorities the land department has. But to break those up into smaller chunks as opposed to in the past we've seen ballot measures put before voters that were very complicated and had a whole number of issues related to state trust lands management. A number of people I spoke to said the voters are opposed to these kinds of changes. But having worked in the area of elections and voter outreach for nearly a decade, my experience with voters and trying to explain ballot measures to voters is that they will vote no if they don't understand what it is. And I heard specifically for those previous ballot measures on state trust land, people said, I don't understand what all these changes are. And it's too much. And I'm just going to vote no. Until they get us something that I can understand.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And we'll let you kick off the campaign. If one of the ballot measures needs to be giving the state land department more and this asset management idea, give us the political speech that would convince a voter, just that chunk alone, why the department needs more assets to manage this stuff.

>>Jamie Hogue:
I think if the town hall recommendations are correct, and we should do this in a smaller, slower, a few steps at a time approach, I think that first priority should be providing the state land department with the resources that it needs to do its job and make it a true asset manager. That can be accomplished in the same manner that a number of other states have done, and that is allowing the trust to retain a portion of its growth in the revenues that it generates. It operates more like a business and provides an incentive to continue to do a really good job because you only survive as long as you provide growth in the revenue stream. The other part of that is, I think the town hall really came around to the point that conservation and sustainability are something that are a growing concern in Arizona. I think that funding for the department has to be paralleled with some means of dealing with conservation lands in the state.

>>Richard Ruelas:
I guess, is it -- we saw that map. And I guess it would be nice to see it in more detail. Because it sounds like there's a lot of state land that's been passed over as we grow. Has it just been too difficult that people for the state land department to sell that land and make it worthwhile to developers?

>>Jamie Hogue:
I think the biggest hurdle we have is resources. To do a really good job at planning and bringing a piece of land to the market or to auction in our case there's a certain amount of work you want to do ahead of time. You don't want to sell just raw land. You can create value by doing planning and working with the local jurisdictions to get guarantees in place before you sell the land. Going through that process, we currently, our average is about 3400-acres a year is what we sell at auction. If you consider that there's going to be a doubling of our population and we have 1 million-acres of trust land in the urban areas we're already way behind. You could go a couple hundred years and we wouldn't be beyond that first million acres that's in there right now.

>>Alberto Olivas:
If you were to look at that map in detail, state trust land, you'd see it's made up of a huge number of very small parcels that are not contiguous. So another key recommendation from the town hall is to give the land department the authority to make land exchanges with other public lands.

>>Richard Ruelas:
So to create larger parcels.

>>Alberto Olivas:
Exactly. Establish larger parcels that are more commercially viable for development and then assemble other parcels that are larger parcels for conservation.

>>Richard Ruelas:
We certainly heard from one developer, whether representatives from the major home builders or companies saying again, boy, we like things where they are building these communities.

>>Alberto Olivas:
That was maybe a surprise for me. But in the panel that I chaired, we had a number of representatives of developers and builders. And they're very much in favor of these kinds of changes. As one of them put it, our mountains and our washes and our desert features and all of the wonderful things that we have in Arizona and our various terrains are our beachfront property. They used that phrase often. So it is in the interests of developers to be able to have large areas set aside for conservation that then the lands that border that can be developed are much more valuable. They're worth more.

>>Richard Ruelas:
I guess we are seeing developments that sort of promise sustainability, to communities, work, live, play, or even meet your neighbors which we didn't see before. A lot of town hall reports end up on the shelf. What do you expect as we wrap up here? What do you expect to come out of this one?

>>Jamie Hogue:
Well, this might be my own self-interest, but the governor is currently working on a state trust land reform package now. I'm hoping this package seems to be consistent with what she's working on. I'm hoping this first convinces folks in Arizona that it's time to support a change.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Well, as we get to maybe a ballot measure we'll have you both back here to try to again sell it to voters. Jamie Hogue, Alberto Olivas, thanks for joining us this evening.

>>Jamie Hogue:
Thank you.

>>Alberto Olivas:
Thank you

>>Richard Ruelas:
Over the next several weeks -- on Wednesday nights -- we'll be taking a look at a variety of issues that affect Arizona's Native American tribes. Tonight the first in a series of videos produced by "generation seven strategic partners" and Ivan Makil, former president of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. The topic is tribal sovereignty.

>>Ben Nighthorse Campbell:
In our constitution tribes are recognized as sovereign governments such as Great Britain or France or other countries. So it stands to reason that if the United States in its history made a treaty with a tribe, they should have stuck by them just as they do if they make a treaty with France or Germany or Great Britain.

>>Seth Waxman:
The relationship between the United States as a national government and the Indian tribes is a form of sovereign to sovereign relationship. In the United States we have a complicated form of sovereignty. It's not like in the old days when there was a king or an absolute leader and that was the sovereign and everybody else, you know, was under the sovereignty of that leader. In the United States, we have sort of a divided form of sovereignty. So we have the national government, we have state governments, and each has certain incidents of sovereignty. There are certain respects in which under the constitution individuals have, you know, rights of self-determination and rights of governance. Indian tribes in a very special way that probably is unique in the world have rights of sovereignty that precede the founding of the united states, predate the founding of the United States, that was recognized by European colonists, recognized by colonies, and recognized by the founders of the country both under the articles of confederation and particularly under the constitution.

>>Tom Daschle:
Sovereignty, it was and is the essence of tribal governance. Tribes have to have the ability to make decisions affecting their people. That sovereignty was a guarantee in the treaties. But the sovereignty is less meaningful if it doesn't mean economic freedom. Because dependence upon others, especially upon government, means you forego so much of the economic freedom that is understood to be part of the definition of sovereignty.

>>Seth Waxman:
I would think that it's a very positive development to try and make people aware, both Indian and non-Indian people, about the concept of tribal sovereignty, even if the concept itself is a terribly complicated one. And our system of government, all our systems of government depend upon having a populace as educated as possible about how government is structure and how you participate and why it's important to participate. That's as true at the tribal level as at the national level.

>>Dale Kildee:
Indian tribes in this country have sovereignty, a real sovereignty, a retained sovereignty. It's not something given to them by the United States. They had it before the European settlers ever arrived here. And our constitution recognizes that. Article I section viii says the congress shall have power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states and with the Indian tribes. That tells the three sovereignties that this constitution recognizes that. Does not grant you the sovereignty, it recognizes it. It doesn't grant France its sovereignty it, recognizes the sovereignty of the other countries and the states. So it's a real sovereignty. That's very, very important. And John Marshall has stated very clearly in his statement, he said, "the Indian nations had always been considered as distinct, independent, political communities." John Marshall, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. We've applied the word "treaty and nation to Indians as we've applied them to the other nations of the earth. They are applied to all in the same sense." we have a real sovereignty. One time I was talking to another member of congress and showed that to him, he didn't believe in sovereignty. And he looked at that and he said, "Gee, I never realized that. They do have real sovereignty." then he said, "I still don't like it."I said, well, you probably don't like the income tax amendment, either. But you better pay your taxes, right?"

>>Seth Waxman:
That means Indian tribes are sovereigns. It doesn't mean they are absolute sovereigns and no other government can tell them what to do. They're what's known under the constitution as domestic attendant sovereigns. That is, they're fully encompassed by and they are citizens of the United States and of the states in which Indian peoples reside. But they retain certain incidents of a true sovereign, that is in terms of self-governance and self-determination and how these sort of competing sovereignties has developed since the United States was settled and North America was settled by European colonists and then came to be governed by an independent country is a fascinating and unbelievably complex story.

>>Ernest L. Stevens Jr.:
The recognition of our sovereignty is built into the United States Constitution and recognized that we have a retained right. And this is something that we're very proud of.

>>Seth Waxman:
In our country, and it just is true in Indian country as it is anywhere else, the real sovereigns are the people. That's why the constitution starts with the word "we, the people." all the government institutions and all the people who are elected are chosen to serve in them are people who are representing the people and are supposed to represent the people and the way that those institutions and individuals go wrong is when the true sovereigns, when the people who have elected them or chosen them to be their representatives aren't paying attention and aren't asking questions and aren't, you know, provoking them and making clear what it is that they think ought to be done.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Joining me is the executive producer of the video you just watched: former president of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian community, Ivan Makil. Thanks for joining us this evening.

>>Ivan Makil:
Thank you. Nice to be here.

>>Richard Ruelas:
We're looking forward to more segments like that. What did you hope to accomplish with these series of segments?

>>Ivan Makil:
An effort to educate people. It's so difficult to find good information, and particularly current information about American Indian tribes in this country that we thought it was really important to start to provide pieces that help educate people, and particularly from the tribal perspective.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Why do you think the barrier exists why some people who live off the tribe don't understand or seem to be afraid to ask questions of what life is like or what your culture is like?

>>Ivan Makil:
A lot of times it's fear, ignorance, and just information that isn't available. There's plenty of information in history books about drafters of the constitution. But there's not a lot of information in history books about the various contributions that tribes have made to the success and the growth of this country.

>>Richard Ruelas:
It seems like history sort of stops talking about native Americans right about the time that pilgrims get here, and then picks it up maybe when the casinos opened up. And there's a wide swath in the middle missing which I guess you're trying to fill the gaps in.

>>Ivan Makil:
Right.

>>Richard Ruelas:
What topics are we going to see covered over the next three weeks?

>>Ivan Makil:
We thought it was important to start with the foundation of what the actual legal status is of tribes. So we're covering that, talking about a new bill in congress called the American Indian heritage day bill, which recognizes the Friday after thanksgiving.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Interesting day to reflect on that.

>>Ivan Makil:
Pros and cons about that as well. But hopefully an opportunity to educate people and bring some awareness to Indian tribes.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Okay. And then economic development wraps us up in two weeks from now, right?

>>Ivan Makil:
Right. Hopefully letting people know the current status of tribes and how tribes, the kinds of things tribes are doing to help themselves and to continue to create sustainability economies.

>>Richard Ruelas:
We'll look forward to it. President Makil, thanks for joining us this evening on Horizon.

>>Ivan Makil:
Thank you very much.

>>Mike Sauceda:
A U.S. House of Representatives passed a revision of the 1872 mining law recently. We'll tell you what that could mean for mining in Arizona and around the nation. And an ASU researcher is working on a new memory device that will have a greatly-expanded amount of memory. Learn about the revolutionary device Thursday at 7:00 on Horizon.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Thank you for joining us on this Wednesday evening. I'm Richard Ruelas. We'll see you tomorrow. Good night.

What's on?

Content Partner:

  About KAET Contact Support Legal Follow Us  
  About Eight
Mission/Impact
History
Site Map
Pressroom
Contact Us
Sign up for e-news
Pledge to Eight
Donate Monthly
Volunteer
Other ways to support
FCC Public Files
Privacy Policy
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Google+
Pinterest
 

Need help accessing? Contact disabilityaccess@asu.edu

Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University    Copyright Arizona Board of Regents