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"Arizona attracts millions of visitors from around the world each year," said Governor Ducey. "They come for our amazing weather, limitless recreation opportunities, our stunning landscapes and they come in droves to places like Sierra Vista to bird watch. Birding is an integral part of Arizona's thriving tourism industry and this legislation acknowledges Sierra Vista's unique role in this sector of our economy. I'd like to thank Representative Gail Griffin for leading this effort."
Birders can observe nearly 15 species of hummingbirds and more than 300 other bird species in the canyons, forests, and riverbanks in and around Sierra Vista, the largest community in Cochise County. This activity has garnered wide attention from birders around the world. Southeastern Arizona has for years been a birding hotspot.
"Our local, national and international bird-watching communities have had the opportunity to observe some of this beautiful wildlife in Sierra Vista, where countless hummingbirds and other species make their way every year," the Governor added. "Rep. Griffin's legislation celebrates this exciting fact, and adds another reason to why Arizona is the best state in the country to visit and live."
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House Bill 2807 passed both chambers of the Arizona Legislature with large bipartisan majorities.
"Not only does Arizona have a good economy ,a great place to work , it also provides a wide range of activities for the bird watching community," said Representative Gail Griffin. "Sierra Vista (and surrounding areas) is home to a variety of beautiful bird species and wildlife. This legislation highlights and celebrates our beautiful community and all it has to offer our citizens and visitors."
Sierra Vista, and more precisely Ramsey Canyon Preserve, is known by many as the "Hummingbird Capital of the World". It is owned and operated by the Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving land and water around the globe.
Governor Ducey's signing of the legislation was welcomed by Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism.
"Arizona is home to wondrous beauty, bountiful wildlife and an agreeable climate that beckons many travelers to our state each year," said Arizona Office of Tourism Director Debbie Johnson. "The designation of Sierra Vista as the hummingbird capital of Arizona is another great distinguishing feature in our state's travel offerings!"
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The Governor also signed HB 2470 today to extend the deadline for donations to the Buffalo Soldiers Memorial. The bill extends the deadline from Oct. 1, 2021 to Oct. 1, 2025 for donations to establish a memorial commemorating the Buffalo Soldiers of the Arizona Territory.
At the time of the bill passage, the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Regiment organization has raised $92,205 of its $650,000 goal on GoFundMe.
"Thank you Governor Ducey for signing legislation to extend the deadline for donating to the Buffalo Soldiers Memorial," said Representative Richard Andrade. "Buffalo Soldiers are heroes whose service to Arizona deserves to be remembered and honored. Due to COVID-19, the organization was unable to raise the money for the memorial and this extension ensures that fundraising efforts will be successful."
The Buffalo Soldiers were a group of African American soldiers serving on the Western frontier beginning in 1866. The first Buffalo Soldiers arrived in Arizona at Fort Huachuca in the 1890s and distinguished themselves in the Spanish-American War.
During the Mexican Revolution, the Fort Huachuca Buffalo Soldiers helped to guard Arizona borders in Camp Naco, Arizona, Camp Little in Nogales, and other locations throughout the state.
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