The Coalition for Permanent Protection of
The National Forest in the Sedona Verde Valley Red Rock Area
Our Core Values: Environmental Preservation; Integrity informed by Truth and Respect;
Excellence informed by Professionalism; Focused Commitment
FACT SHEET: PERMANENT PROTECTION OF THE NATIONAL FOREST
in the Sedona/Verde Valley Red Rock Area
WHAT: Achieve a Permanent Protection designation for a portion of the Red Rock Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest (CNF). This designation must protect the Forest land from land trades and protect water resources for Sedona and the Greater Verde Valley. The designation will not apply to any land except National Forest land. It will allow for government infrastructure & utility upgrades.
HOW LARGE: In the revised Proposal, the designated area does not include any Wilderness Areas. It covers approximately 80,000 acres, about 4% of the CNF. This is CNF’s most heavily used portion of the Forest, commonly called “Red Rock Forest,” the most visited National Forest District in the nation.
WHEN: By Jan. 20th, 2017; if that does not happen, the goal is anytime later.
WHY: Permanent Protection from land trades and from development for this part of the Forest is now a crucial factor if we want the Forest to remain an extraordinary, public, open space “wonderland” with adequate water resources for the future.
– Every Community Plan in the whole Verde Valley stipulates protection and preservation of “open space, riparian and watershed areas.” Private ownership and commercial development of the Forest lands would destroy these values. The 2014 Sedona Community Plan, approved by the voters 2 to 1, called permanent protection of the Forest one of its highest priorities.
– The ‘Savannah Area’ of the National Forest, where the rainwater settles and is stored, is part of Verde Valley’s crucial watershed and riparian area. Development in this area will degrade and ultimately decimate the watershed. The Savannah gains particular importance because the Oak Creek watershed in the Oak Creek Canyon area has been severely damaged by wildfires in recent years.
– CNF’s Amendment 12 is not permanent and in the new Forest Plan no longer has its “proscriptive muscle,” making it vulnerable to land trades via political pressure. Realtors & Developers — opposed to Forest Permanent Protection – understand this clearly. They say that the current land trade restrictions are giving sufficient protection, but history says otherwise. Consider how those protections were achieved: by an amendment supported by and decided upon by the USFS. Forest Plans can not only be amended but totally ignored with little to no local input by slipping land trades into must-pass congressional appropriation bills or by the politically appointed Dept. of Agriculture. There are examples where it has already happened on National Forest land.*
– Forest Budgets are cut yearly while Forest Fires have gone from 18% of the budget to almost a whopping 60%. Some National Forests may be forced to sell or trade land by congressional action. The Realtors & Developers — opposed to Permanent Protection – understand this well.
– A Permanent Protection designation could give this world-famous Forest priority status with grants that would help it manage safety, trail maintenance, and antiquity protection while also protecting the watershed resources from development.
– A political faction in AZ is fighting hard for the State to gain ownership over our National Forests and other federal Public Lands in Arizona. In Nov. 2012, this idea was soundly defeated in Arizona, and poll after poll, in Arizona and all Western States, have clearly shown that the people want federal land left in federal hands.
– Lands with a Permanent Protection designation would likely be excluded from any transfer of public lands to the State of AZ — this is why many national lobbyist organizations like Americans for Prosperity and the American Lands Council are aggressively helping AZ State Rep. Thorpe, State Sen. Allen and local organizations like the AZ Liberty Tea Party fight all permanent protection designations in Arizona, including Red Rock Forest. They have openly admitted their plan is to use the transferred land to raise state revenue — that can only happen if the land gets privatized or leased to industry. We need to send a message: Red Rock Forest is NOT For Sale.
– Most visitors think a place as spectacular as the Red Rock Forest must already be permanently protected with some kind of special national protection. This effort for protection isn’t about more tourism; it’s about protecting, maintaining and keeping intact what we have now for generations to come. The Native Americans who once resided here regarded the Red Rock Forest area as a sacred place — they still do and so do we. How about you?
Help us save this extraordinary ancient land before it’s too late.
Sign our petition: www.redrocknationalmonument.org/petition-show-your-support/
Check our website FAQ: redrocknationalmonument.org/frequently-asked-questions/
Contact us at: redrocknationalmonument.org/contact-us/
*The Tonto National Forest Plan’s ‘special protections’ of sacred American Indian land got sold via corporate money greasing the wheels in the back channels of congressional offices without local Forest Ranger knowledge or citizen input: nytimes.com/2015/05/29/opinion/selling-off-apache-holy-land.html Locals also had little input into the huge Ruskin Land Sale in Prescott National Forest, even though multiple studies cast doubt on whether there were adequate water resources for this trade. http://aliciapatterson.org/stories/secret-land-swaps-taxpayers-help-finance., called Save Our Ancient Redthe world-famous, antiquity-rich National Forest lands of the Red Rock Ranger District’s National Monument, now the most visited Forest District in the USA. . that the proposed Monument values will be protected by the to assist the Forest Service in protecting antiquities and the Forest’s currently enjoyed in the Forest, watershed & riparian areas with permanent protection, we have support from the leading Sedona-Verde Valley watershed and land preservation organizations: Act –