City of Flagstaff Passes Walnut Canyon Resolution!!! #KeepItOpen
By a 5 to 2 vote, the Flagstaff City Council voted to support a resolution saying:
“Flagstaff City Council supports the continued protection of lands surrounding Walnut Canyon National Monument through a Congressional designation of a special management area, such as a National Conservation Area, to provide the highest level of protection for Federal land…”
We wish to thank Vice Mayor Barotz and Council Members Brewster, Evans, Overton, and Putzova for supporting protection of this incredible landscape. We also thank YOU who spoke up for Walnut Canyon protection. Let’s keep the momentum going!
Here is a link to the resolution:
In response to growing concerns about land trades, in 2009, Congress mandated a study of the mostly unroaded area surrounding Walnut Canyon National Monument, to determine if there is a “designation or management option that would provide for
(i) protection of resources within the study area; and
(ii) continued access to, and use of, the study area by the public.”
The Study found that the only way to meet both those needs is to create a Congressionally-designated National Conservation Area with legislative language written to prevent land trades (“Option 2” of the Study).
Now, the Coconino County Board of Supervisors and Flagstaff City Council have endorsed that option with supporting resolutions.
Let’s protect the entire Study Area from land trades and development forever with a National Conservation Area designation!
The Walnut Canyon Study Area includes a Globally Recognized Audubon Important Bird Area; Coconino National Forest Recognized Important Water; Arizona Game and Fish-designated Sustainable Wildlife Corridors; City of Flagstaff “Priority Open Land;” part of the Arizona Trail; prehistoric and historic artifacts; old growth forests; and opportunities for quiet solitude. There are popular spots for climbing, hiking, camping, biking, birding, hunting, and biking, including the Arizona Trail, Flagstaff Urban Trail System, Cherry Canyon, “the Pit” climbing area, Campbell Mesa Trail System, the floors of Walnut Canyon and Sandy Canyon, narrows in Skunk Canyon, Anderson Mesa grasslands, and the area northeast of Walnut Canyon National Monument. While the study has been ongoing, a shooting range has now opened 0.25 miles from its eastern boundary and 4,500 new homes are planned along its west side, demonstrating the need to protect these special lands, and Forest Service lands adjacent to the boundary were traded to the City of Flagstaff several years ago. Yet the majority of the 30,000 acres remain quiet, litter-free, sparsely visited, and dense with wildlife.
See the final Walnut Canyon Study here.