- Q: Won’t a National Monument bring more people, traffic, and damage?
A: Population projections for the Southwest are for continued significant population growth. More people will be coming to this area as a result. There will be very significant population growth in the Colorado River basin, according to the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, which projects growth from the present 40M to 64M (79M as a high end of the range) by 2060. The Arizona Department of Water Resources Water Resources Development Commission states the current population of 6.6M and is projected to grow to 12M in 45 years. This will mean that more people will come here whether this is a National Monument or not. National Monument designation by itself will not be a significant cause of increased visitation. The single largest factor is how well-known this area is — state wide, nationally, and internationally. Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, and the Red Rock vistas get a lot of publicity and coverage and are already on well over 25 top-20 lists of places to visit.
Even if nothing is done, more people will come. Thus, there will be more traffic and more damage to the antiquities, our environment, and our quality of life, with no coherent plan or funding in place to deal with these already pressing issues, which will only become greater over time.
Our objective is to protect the antiquities, cultural heritage, natural resources, historic landmarks, and scenic values within the proposed Monument boundaries. The objective is to create greater focus, to elevate the priorities and maximize our opportunities for funding resources with an integrated plan. This can only be accomplished by taking action. Doing nothing will only result in a continuing decline of our quality of life.
It is our belief that the National Monument designation is our best option to meaningfully deal with the antiquities, our environment, and our quality of life issues in a number of areas.
National Monument designation will:
- Create a legitimate opportunity to address the issues holistically, including increased visitation, traffic, and environmental damage;
- Provide a legitimate vehicle to plan, address, and manage the area’s future need, threats and challenges;
- Expand the platform for funding opportunities to apply for grants and other funding sources;
- Institute a planning, educational, and evaluation process for maintenance, restoration and for the area’s future;
- Make available a process that encourages public participation in future planning for the area.
We cannot solve a problem by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. – Albert Einstein
- Q: Will tour companies and other concessionaires be impacted?
A: Tour operators and concessionaires will be permitted as they are now and will not be affected any more than they would be by the implementation of the new Coconino National Forest Management Plan.
- Q: How will the National Monument affect the economy of the area?
A: Based on the experience of other National Monuments, it will have a positive impact on the area’s overall economy. Our economy is a tourist-based economy. Protection of the antiquities, the riparian areas, the scenic beauty, and the quality of life are the sustainable underpinnings of our economy.
- Q: Can designation as a National Monument bring in additional funding to manage the area?
A: Past experience of other National Monuments is that additional funds have become available to manage the Monument. This has been primarily in the form of grants from conservation-minded organizations, groups, other governmental agencies and locally managed endowments.
- Q: Will a Monument designation bring additional resources to the area?
A: If previous monument designations are an indication, this monument designation is expected to bring additional resources to the area.