Forest Service Acquires Red Rock Lands (AZ)

(USDA Forest Service Release)

Sedona, Arizona – The Coconino National Forest, Sedona Ranger District is announcing that two new properties in the Red Rocks are in public ownership. The Forest Service has recently completed the purchase of 25 acres in Lincoln Canyon, adjacent to the Cleeves parcel acquired last year, and 60 acres of the Woo Ranch near the Palatki recreation site. “We are very excited about these acquisitions and want to express our strong appreciation to the Trust for Public Land and Keep Sedona Beautiful for their efforts in making these purchases come together,” said Ken Anderson, District Ranger for the Beaver Creek/Sedona Ranger Districts in Sedona. “We never would have made these happen without their help and the strong support of many community members.”

The lands were acquired using Land and Water Conservation funds, allocated through the federal budgeting process. “We also want to thank the Arizona congressional delegation-particularly Senator Jon Kyl and Representative Bob Stump-for their assistance in securing the funding for these purchases,” Anderson added. “These acquisitions would not have been successful without the participation of all the partners. This is a great example of how we can work together to accomplish a goal that will benefit generations to come.”

“The purchase of these properties is truly representative of the type of acquisitions envisioned when the Land and Water Conservation Fund was first authorized,” said Representative Stump. “I commend the hard work of the local citizens in their campaign to bring these properties into public domain.”

“I am pleased that the Sedona Red Rocks experience will be enhanced with the addition of these two properties, both of which have high conservation values,” said Senator Kyl. “The recreational opportunities and archaeological resources that will be preserved are spectacular.”Since May 1997, TPL has been helping the U.S. Forest Service acquire high-priority conservation properties in the Coconino National Forest by facilitating purchases from willing-seller private landowners. The 25-acre parcel is located in Yavapai County near the Honanki cliff dwellings. It is one of the last private in-holdings in the Lincoln Canyon area of the forest and is highly valued by the Forest Service as critical peregrine falcon habitat.

In February, TPL acquired and conveyed to the city of Sedona 100 acres of the 160-acre Woo Ranch, also located in Yavapai County, in the vicinity of Red Canyon. The city, in turn, will convey that acreage to the U.S. Forest Service through an exchange for the city’s new wastewater treatment facility site. Last month, TPL conveyed the remaining 60 acres of the ranch to the Coconino National Forest. “TPL commends the Arizona delegation, the city of Sedona, and the Forest Service for their vision and hard work that is making possible the protection of the entire 160-acre Woo Ranch,” said TPL project manager Eric Love.

“The city is very pleased with our partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the Trust for Public Land,” Mayor Alan Everett said.According to Keep Sedona Beautiful spokesperson Bill Kusner, KSB will continue to work to secure LWCF funding for acquisition of additional lands in Sedona’s Red Rock area. “These public purchases will serve to preserve the spectacular open landscape well known throughout the world, to provide opportunities for additional access for recreation, and to protect archaeological resources,” he said. “Keep Sedona Beautiful is hopeful that a $3.5 million appropriation in FY 2001 will allow for the purchase of 90 acres in Yavapai County locally known as the Bradshaw Ranch.”