Reprinted from the Verde Independent
7/27/2015 9:31:00 AM
National Monument Fallacies vs. Facts
By Tom O’Halleran
During a July 16 public meeting for the Sedona Red Rock Verde Valley National Monument there were skeptics who voiced their concerns on the benefits of the proposal to become a national monument.
As there are opposing opinions regarding the proposed designation, it’s important to note the five points below. For substantiation of all information and details about of the proposed Monument – vetted by the Department of Agriculture, the City, the Forest and the U.S. Supreme Court, please visit the Monument’s website: redrocknationalmonument.org
The public meeting, held at the Sedona Public Library, covered all aspects of what the proposed Monument would mean to those who live, work and travel here. With visitation in the millions, the necessity of taking action now, before it’s too late was strongly emphasized. Finding a means of managing and preserving the extraordinary scenic, archaeological, historical, geological, recreational, riparian and natural attributes of this special place is imperative.
1. A National Monument designation is not a patchwork of local, state and federal land. It can only apply to federal land, and this has been upheld in the Supreme Court. See “Private Property Rights” on the Monument website for more.
2. The experience of other National Monuments is that a Monument designation has a positive impact on the area’s overall economy. This area’s economy is tourist-based, and protecting our extraordinary lands and quality of life is the sustainable lifeblood of our future. Please go to the following source for documentation: Headwaters Economics Summary: The Economic Importance of National Monuments to Local Communities Update and Overview of National Monument Series, Spring 2014.
3. A designation will not ‘shut down’ any type of recreation that is currently, legally being enjoyed in the Forest. This is a basic tenet of the designation, as it was in the recent San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Proclamation — and it’s been reiterated from day one.
4. The trailhead/Canyon shuttle idea would NOT be included in a NM designation. In response to a question as to how a designation could possibly help solve traffic issues, spokesman Tom O’Halleran pointed out possible solutions that the City of Sedona and the Forest Service have currently been exploring, even without a designation. Those entities — not KSB — would eventually seek public comment on their ideas and execute them.
5. Most importantly, the request to be honored with a National Monument designation — and what parameters it will have, other than the given (protecting the antiquities), comes from the local, grassroots, public level, NOT from D.C. That is why the public is so strongly encouraged to weigh in.
This local coalition is proposing a designation with NO restrictions to types of recreation other than what is currently legally being enjoyed in the Forest.
See the FAQ on the website for more information on how this designation can help the Forest, City AND citizens better manage the future — be factually informed: redrocknationalmonument.org.
To view the Verde Independent article: http://verdenews.com/main.asp?SectionID=239&SubSectionID=904&ArticleID=66645&TM=51898.7