June 2023

Person hiking a trail in the Arizona desert.

Arizona is home to the magnificent Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT), an 800-mile corridor that winds its way through the state’s diverse landscapes, including mountains, canyons, deserts, forests, and wilderness areas. This premier long-distance trail attracts adventurers from around the world, offering a remarkable experience for non-motorized recreation. 

Over a span of 30 years, dedicated volunteers, through the Arizona Trail Association (ATA), built and maintained this iconic trail, making it the largest outdoor service project in the state’s history. 

The Arizona Trail Association and Its Importance

This trail owes its existence to the unwavering efforts of the Arizona Trail Association, an organization committed to protecting, maintaining, enhancing, promoting, and sustaining this unique, scenic area. The ATA manages a dedicated group of over 2,500 volunteers annually, many of whom undertake the responsibility of trail maintenance along the entire stretch from Mexico to Utah. These volunteers generously contribute over 20,000 hours of service annually, valued at an impressive $550,000.

Sustainability and Stewardship Programs

The ATA recognizes the importance of instilling a sense of stewardship and environmental appreciation in future generations. Through programs like Seeds of Stewardship, the ATA engages thousands of middle and high school students from communities along the Arizona Trail, educating and involving them in exploring and caring for the trail. 

Additionally, the ATA’s Veterans Program provides opportunities for military veterans to experience the Arizona Trail firsthand and participate in stewardship projects. The organization’s Volunteer Program, widely recognized as one of the most effective volunteer structures in the outdoor recreation community, recruits, trains, and empowers citizen stewards throughout the state.

Economic Impact

Beyond its intrinsic value as a recreational resource, the Arizona Trail also plays a pivotal role in Arizona’s economy. Recent studies have shown that Americans spent over $21 billion on outdoor recreation in Arizona from 2020 to 2021, supporting 201,000 jobs, generating $5.7 billion in wages, and contributing $1.4 billion in state and local tax revenue. 

Furthermore, research conducted by the University of Arizona revealed that in-state residents engage in non-motorized trail activities approximately 83,110,000 times per year, with an estimated 59.2% of Arizona’s adult population participating. The economic value derived from in-state residents’ non-motorized trail use amounts to an impressive $8.3 billion per year. 

S.B. 1714 and Its Importance

In recognition of the critical role played by the Arizona Trail and the Arizona Trail Association, Senator Gowan, representing LD 19, sponsored S.B. 1714. 

What is S.B. 1714?

This legislation seeks to appropriate $250,000 to the Arizona Trail Fund, a necessary step to support priority trail construction and maintenance projects. With recent catastrophic wildfires ravaging over 100 miles of the trail, the ATA’s efforts in wildfire mitigation, landscape restoration, and forest health initiatives have become paramount. By securing state funding, Arizona ensures the long-term preservation of this valuable recreational resource, safeguarding the state’s investment while promoting the health, well-being, and quality of life of its residents.

Why It Matters

S.B. 1714 represents a significant milestone in Arizona’s commitment to preserving and enhancing the Arizona National Scenic Trail. As the popularity of the Arizona Trail grows, it is imperative to recognize the economic, environmental, and recreational value it brings to the state. 

Through collaborative efforts and continued support, Arizona residents, along with organizations like Dorn Policy Group, Inc., will ensure that this awe-inspiring trail remains an enduring symbol of its commitment to natural preservation and outdoor adventure.

Success with S.B. 1714

Dorn Policy Group was successful in acquiring significant funding for the Arizona National Scenic Trail by securing the original requested amount of $250,000, along with an additional $250,000, for a notable total of $500,000.

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. Advocates for Arizona

When you partner with a government relations firm like Dorn Policy Group, Inc., you’re not just getting our support. You gain an invaluable partner who advocates for your success. With nearly 60 years of combined experience, we’re experts in obtaining the results you need for success. Contact us today to learn more about our services and what we can do for you.

Health care researchers working in life science lab

Arizona’s focus on life science and health innovation is important for both our state’s citizens and life science national ranking alike. Our state’s innovators are constantly working to develop pioneering treatments and cures that can help the quality of life for all Arizonans. These healthcare initiatives relate closely to the quality of life for our state’s citizens including troops, veterans, and the seniors who helped build the country we currently live in.

What is The Arizona Health Innovation Trust Fund (AHIT)?

The Arizona Health Innovation Trust Fund (AHIT) was established in 2022 under Arizona Revised Statute section 41-177. AHIT represents a lasting endowment fund that encompasses money continually allocated by public and private funding. On an annual basis, the Arizona State Treasurer is responsible for allocating four percent of the monetary resources within AHIT to an entity that fulfills a set of specific requirements. This is a permanent endowment that provides annual distributions to a 501c3 non-profit that:

  • Provides entrepreneurial education, mentoring, and support to persons in the health innovation and healthcare delivery sectors.
  • Provides programs that support workforce development. 
  • Provides programs that support the development and commercialization of health innovation.
  • Has entered into an endowment agreement with the treasurer that includes investment procedures, maturity timelines, other requirements established by the Treasurer, and entity reporting requirements. 

This non-profit entity must submit an annual report, as prescribed by the Treasurer, to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Treasurer by each December 31. 

This eligible entity must first and foremost be a charitable organization. Furthermore, it should provide valuable support to individuals engaged in the health innovation and healthcare delivery sectors, including entrepreneurial education, mentoring, and guidance. Additionally, it should offer programs that contribute to workforce development, as well as initiatives that promote the advancement and commercialization of health innovation. 

The Importance of Health Science Innovation

Arizona’s status as a health innovation center means there are constant developments moving forward in the state’s medical space and plenty of breakthroughs awaiting in the discovery pipeline. 

These exciting ideas require the necessary resources to fully thrive in the Arizona innovation landscape. The innovators and entrepreneurs working hard in the medical space can benefit from initiatives like AHIT by using accumulated funds to help progress their medical projects forward in research and development.  The focus of the fund emphasizes the smaller bioscience ventures that exist to propel Arizona’s medical innovation setting into the future. Rather than being a cost to the state, AHIT should be seen as a great investment for the state itself and for its inhabitants. 

The important medical projects being developed in the state vary in purpose but serve many crucial outcomes. Medical advancements are being made in areas such as:

  • Screenings and Diagnostics
  • Drugs, Biologics, and Vaccines
  • Medical Devices and Tools
  • Health IT

Arizona’s focus on life science and health innovation through initiatives like AHIT  demonstrates the state’s commitment to improving the quality of life for its citizens. The investments made in the health innovation sector, along with the expertise of organizations like Dorn Policy Group, Inc., further solidify Arizona’s position as a leading hub for life sciences.

If you or your organization would like more information on how to support The Arizona Health Innovation Trust Fund or attend the annual Ponte Cura, The Bridge To Cures benefit supporting The Arizona Health Innovation Trust Fund through AZAdvances on September 29, 2023 visit www.azadvances.org

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. Advocates for Arizona

When you partner with a government relations firm like Dorn Policy Group, Inc., you’re not just getting our support. You gain an invaluable partner who advocates for your success. With nearly 60 years of combined experience, we’re experts in obtaining the results you need for success. Contact us today to learn more about our services and what we can do for you. 

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