National Monument status sought for Red Rock Country

Villagers needed to sign petition now

By Tom O’Halleran, President, Keep Sedona Beautiful

If you enjoy the unique beauty and rare ancient history of this remarkable place where you live and work, please act now! We need your help to preserve our Sedona Red Rock Country and nearby Verde Valley grasslands for generations to come.

Keep Sedona Beautiful is working to have the President of the United States proclaim approximately 160,000 acres as the Sedona Verde Valley Red Rock National Monument. Such designation would provide the needed protection. No private properties would be included.

Many organizations and individuals are collaborating on this issue, but we also need your participation. We ask you to sign a petition (see Villager insert and website below) and help spread the word to make a difference.

Our National Forest land belongs to the people of America and Arizona, and the President needs to hear from all who know and treasure it. Those who support this effort are asked to also spread the word to friends and family across the country and even abroad, as we know Sedona is revered worldwide, and every signature counts!

This National Monument would provide the designated acres of Coconino National Forest with the highest level of protection possible. The designation would help preserve one of the most beautiful and geologically rich places on earth.

It would also help protect a long history of human habitation dating back 14,000 years. The proposed Monument includes one of the densest archaeological sites in the United States, having over 800 inventoried sites with estimates of thousands more to go.

The proposed Monument would also help protect our watershed, Oak Creek and seven other riparian habitats. The area is one of the most biologically diverse in Arizona.

It contains seven biologic zones and is a major flyway for migrating birds, with over 200 species living or passing through the area yearly.

For the last 28 years, residents of the Greater Sedona Region and Verde Valley have worked to permanently protect the area. In 1998, these efforts resulted in Amendment 12 of the Coconino National Forest Land Management Plan.

At the time, many felt this would permanently preserve the forest lands. In reality the Amendment is not a permanent solution and is not the highest level of protection available.

As stewards of this area, we should understand the need to balance our economic needs and quality of life for residents with preservation of our spectacular resource.

The millions of people who annually pass through our area have a profound impact on the land. The area is at risk. This designation would provide that balance by broadening the potential for grant monies to help maintain trails and protect historical sites, etc.

Research has also shown the prestige accompanying National Monuments ultimately benefits their gateway communities financially.

For more information and to sign the petition, visit the Monument website at http://sedonaverdevalleyredrocknationalmonument.org.

You can also visit, like and share our Facebook page at facebook.com/redrocknationalmonument.

Thank you!

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