Public Land is an American Birthright. Help us keep it.
Sedona is a naturally special place that people want to visit. We don’t blame them! We love Sedona, too. But where there’s people, there’s opportunity for industry to exploit the landscape. Land that belongs to every American is vulnerable to privatization and removal from public domain and management. Keep Sedona Beautiful advocates to prevent any such transfer of public land.
The Earth can’t speak for herself. We must speak for her. Cherish your public land and advocate for its protection.
Meditating on public land in the Oak Creek Watershed. Photo by Derek von Briesen
These regions of Northern Arizona are natural wonderlands. Lying on the southern face of the Colorado Plateau, these national forests represent some of the most unique ecosystems in the western United States.
The ecotone between Sedona and Flagstaff features a level of biodiversity not usually associated with deserts. Lush piñon pines dance with various species of cacti and desert scrubs. Huge sandstone sculptures dominate the landscape. Oak Creek Canyon cuts a path into the largest ponderosa pine forest in the world. Cold climate mammals and heat loving reptiles mingle here. This place is the home to an increasingly fragile watershed.
The Honanki Ruins outside of Sedona. Photo by Derek von Briesen
But this area is fragile.
- Approximately 3 million people visit Sedona and the Verde Valley every year. And its popularity continues to grow. This places immense pressure on the ecosystems, water supplies, and environment of the area.
- Commercial interests are pushing to expand and develop sensitive National Forest land.
- The Federal Land Transfer movement has aimed to hand the public land in the Coconino and Prescott National Forests to the State of Arizona. This would likely cause an auction of the land you own as an American.
Sometimes, when thinking outside of the box seems like the right thing to do, the answer to a problem is actually inside of it.
What do we mean by that? Sedona, Flagstaff, and communities all over the Verde Valley have boundaries that push right up into sensitive National Forest land. Privatizing parts of the forest to commercial interests will threaten ecosystems within, overdraft dwindling water supplies, and render Northern Arizona’s landscapes tainted. We must think inside the box, particularly, inside already established city limits, and protect Red Rock Country and the Oak Creek Watershed.
Selling public land would cause irreversible harm in Northern Arizona. We must keep land in the Coconino and Prescott National Forests public. This way they can continue to be protected by proper federal management.
Sycamore Canyon (Arizona’s second largest) in the Red Rock District of the Coconino National Forest. Photo Credit: Grant Belcher.