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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 12, 2001

CONTACT:
Matthew Latimer or
Andrew Wilder, (202) 224-4521

Arizonan Asks Senate Committee For Help
With Conservation

Kyl calls Arizona group a model for private conservation efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) today introduced an Arizona rancher to the influential Senate Finance Committee and expressed support for increased public and private partnerships to conserve America's natural resources.

Bill McDonald, a fifth-generation rancher on his family's Sycamore Ranch in southeastern Arizona, testified this morning at a Finance Committee hearing on "Preserving and Protecting our Natural Resources." McDonald is co-founder and executive director of the Malpai Borderlands Group, a grassroots organization attempting a whole ecosystem approach to the management of one million acres of land on the Mexican border in Arizona and New Mexico.

Kyl saluted the organization for its conservation efforts and asked the Committee to examine ways to help. "We need to look at new ways to assist landowners in the important goal of conservation," Senator Kyl told the Committee. "Malpai Borderlands is a wonderful example of a private group seeking to work with government to protect Arizona's lands."

McDonald asked the committee for a series of tax code changes that would make it easier for landowners to donate or sell their lands for conservation purposes, including the reduction of the capital gains tax and estate tax revisions.

The Malpai Borderlands Group carries out a series of conservation programs, including land restoration, conservation, and endangered species habitat protection. Their area spans the San Bernardino Valley, the Peloncillo Mountains, the Animas Valley and the Animas Mountains.