The Arizona Republic reports:
For nearly a decade, some of the state’s largest ranchers have waited patiently to strike a deal with the federal government to enlarge Petrified Forest National Park and protect the area’s geological and archaeological treasures.
But time appears to be running out as development pressures increase and the ongoing drought makes the cattle industry less viable.
Meanwhile, bills seeking the park’s expansion by 97,000 acres, doubling its size, languish in U.S. House and Senate subcommittees with no hearing dates scheduled. And the state, which has been a latecomer in endorsing the expansion, still faces a laborious process in determining the value of State Land Department property that would be involved in the process.