AORCC was created as a stand-alone agency in 1965, in response to enactment of the federal Land and Water Conservation Act. It was originally responsible for planning, coordinating and administering the state’s outdoor recreation program. In 1984, AORCC’ was combined with the Arizona State Parks to serve in an advisory capacity to the State Parks Board (State Parks). Statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §41-511.25 and §41-511.26.
AORCC recommends distribution of federal and state monies for recreational projects and serves an advisory role to State Parks. AORCC consists of seven members who have expertise in parks and outdoor recreation. Five members are appointed by the Governor to terms of three years. The director of the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the director of the Arizona State Parks Board serve as ex officio members.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund was established by Congress to safeguard natural areas, water resources, and provide recreation opportunities. The program provides matching grants to state and local governments as part of an effort to establish a national recreation policy and encourage each state to develop long range plans for outdoor recreation. (National Parks Service: Land and Water Conservation Fund History)
Among its duties, State Parks is responsible for planning and administering a statewide parks and recreation program including programs established under the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965. (A.R.S. §41-511.04)
Laws 1965, Chapter 68 established the three-member AORCC, outlined its duties and appropriated $30,000 to AORCC. The monies were to be used to carry out the provisions of the act and could be used to match funds provided by the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Laws 1976, Chapter 86 increased the number of members of AORCC to seven, with five members appointed by the Governor. Terms were increased from two years to three years.
Laws 1984, Chapter 182 transferred the responsibilities and authority of AORCC to State Parks and changed AORCC’s role to advisory. All AORCC personnel, furnishings, equipment, records, and unexpended and unencumbered monies were transferred to State Parks.
Laws 1987, Chapter 228 authorized AORCC to determine funding for projects using monies from the Law Enforcement and Boating Safety Fund, in addition to its existing authority to determine funding for projects using monies from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the State Lake Improvement Fund.
Laws 1989, Chapter 193 authorized AORCC to determine funding for projects using monies from the Off Highway Vehicle Recreation Fund.
Laws 2011, Chapter 333 transferred responsibility for administration and distribution of monies from the Law Enforcement and Boating Safety Fund from State Parks and AORCC to the State Treasurer.
Arizona Revised Statutes
- Laws 1965, Chapter 68
- Laws 1976, Chapter 86
- Laws 1984, Chapter 182
- Laws 1987, Chapter 228
- Laws 1989, Chapter 193
- Laws 2011, Chapter 333
National Parks Service www.nps.gov Land and Water Conservation Fund History
Related collections at Arizona State Archives
RG 151 – Arizona Outdoor Recreation Coordinating Commission
MG 28 – Arizona State Parks Association