La Paz County Wants To Buy Thousands Of Acres From Federal Government

Published: Monday, October 9, 2017 - 5:05am

La Paz County is looking to boost its economy by buying federal land.

A bill in Congress would let the County buy more than 8,000 acres from the federal Bureau of Land Management. The county could then lease out part of that property for solar farms or other economic development.

D.L. Wilson, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in La Paz County, said there’s a limited amount of private land that can be developed there.

“La Paz County currently is about 95 percent controlled by state, federal and tribal entities,” he said. “So only 5 percent of our land is privately held and available for development.”

Wilson said a solar energy project was the County’s initial plan for the area. After putting out a Request for Proposals, he said they selected a solar company. But housing or other projects could also be done on a site this big.

“This site, being close to our eastern boundary, is within commuting distance of the West Valley,” he said, giving any prospective developer access to a large workforce.

Wilson is headed to Washington to make his case to a House Subcommittee.

Identical bills have Republican sponsors in both the House and Senate: Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar and Sen. Jeff Flake.

As for the price the county would pay, Wilson said that would come from a federal appraisal after the bill is passed.

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