Representative Ann Kirkpatrick today successfully pushed her legislation to expand the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument through the House Committee on Natural Resources. The Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Boundary Modification Act, which passed with strong support thanks to her efforts, would grow the tourism industry and bring new jobs to the region while conserving a truly unique Greater Arizona attraction without a significant investment of federal dollars.
H.R. 5110, which can now be considered by the full House of Representatives, would protect 13th- and 14th-century ruins that are unlike any other on the continent. They are huge draws for visitors to Florence, Coolidge and the entire region. Rep. Kirkpatrick introduced the bill to ensure that over 120 acres of historically, culturally and archeologically sensitive areas are preserved and can continue to bolster tourism for years to come.
"This is a major step forward for this bill and an exciting day for District One. The Casa Grande Ruins are an irreplaceable historic treasure, and they have tremendous potential to help drive development in Greater Arizona," said Rep. Kirkpatrick. "The legislation will allow us to safeguard this connection to our past and strengthen an economic engine for Pinal County without great expense to the taxpayer. It is the sort of low-cost job creation effort we need right now."
In addition to expanding the boundary of the Monument, which includes the pre-historic four-story structure that gives the city of Casa Grande its name, the measure will authorize a study of land in Florence that may contain additional ruins, such as an ancient recreational site. It would provide new opportunities for scholars and open the door for the creation of future tourist destinations.
The Congresswoman has worked over the past months with the county, local communities, advocates for expansion and the National Park Service to craft a bill that meets the needs of all stakeholders. The plan was open for public comment, and her office has reviewed it extensively with concerned citizens and organizations throughout Greater Arizona. Rep. Kirkpatrick will continue to discuss the Casa Grande Ruins legislation with representatives of every interested community and find ways to improve the bill as the legislative process moves forward.
"I have been privileged to work with a wide range of officials, experts and community members on this bill, and their thoughts, comments and suggestions are helping us better preserve these ancient sites in a way that will help bring jobs to Pinal County," said Rep. Kirkpatrick. "This legislation is the product of tremendous work and collaboration among all stakeholders, and I am proud we were able to get the job done today. We are making our voices heard in Washington."
Now that the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Boundary Modification Act has passed through committee, the Congresswoman will be working to keep the momentum going and earn support for it among Members of the entire House. She will look to move it forward as fast as possible.