Sedona AZ (January 4, 2016) – The Steering Committee of the Coalition for Permanent Protection of the National Forest in the Sedona Verde Valley Red Rock Area announced today that they have submitted their proposal for national monument designation to the President’s Council on Environmental Quality and, as is customary, to the Departments of Agriculture and Interior, in Washington, D.C.
This proposal requests that 80,000 acres of the Red Rock Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest (CNF) be designated as national monument. This action, under current law, exempts those acres from future land trades and leases for commercial development or resource exploitation. Easements for city/county/state infrastructure on Monument land would continue to be available under the local Forest Management Plan in effect. Recreational activities, individual or commercial enterprises including ranching currently allowed by the CNF would not be affected. Because all Monument land would be withdrawn from trade, sale, lease or other disposition, the 80,000 National Monument acres will have their resources (Cultural, Geological, Biological, Hydrological and Scenic) better protected and preserved than can be accomplished with the Forest Plan’s Amendment 12 — which was always intended as “a placeholder” until more permanent protection could be secured.
After the public process held last year, the Steering Committee analyzed the feedback and adjusted the Monument area to half the original size while ensuring all the protections, recreation and access in the CNF’s “Amendment 12” remain.
It is important to remember that a national monument designation (Designation) is our country’s most diverse and customized federal land classification:
• National monuments can range from buildings to fossil beds, reefs, ruins, railroads, statues, parks, volcanoes, forests, BLM open space and natural bridges. By law, they must be on Federal land. They can be managed by a number of agencies, including the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Energy, Bureau of Land Management or a historical organization. Since the 1970’s, for logistical and economic reasons, management of the monuments has remained with the agency responsible for the land or place before designation.
• One common feature of monument designation of National Forest land is that land is withdrawn from trade, sale, and new leases to commercial development, mining or other extractive industries, whereas all other existing rights remain in effect. These withdrawals have historically created opposition from real estate developers, energy-extraction industries and the movement to transfer federal lands to State control (Western Lands Movement).
• The National Monument designation process has been around for nearly 110 years; the process begins with local activity and culminates in the public asking the President to establish the proposed area as a national monument through the Antiquities Act. This Act, created by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 and passed by Congress, grants any President the authority to designate National Monument status on public lands that have objects of historical, cultural, scientific interest and/or may possess unique scenic or educational value. The Act has an impressive track record of preserving some of the nation’s most beloved, iconic areas, although most Designations (like the Grand Canyon in 1908) were met initially with fierce opposition from real estate developers, mining industries and cattle ranchers.
• Public and commercial recreational activities continue after monuments are established. These include but are not limited to: hunting & fishing, camping, backpacking, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, back country tours, target shooting, jeep rides and other motorized vehicles.
• National Monuments do not create “inholders.” An inholder is a landowner surrounded by federal land — this means any property owner in Sedona, a city currently surrounded by National Forest and Wilderness Areas, is an inholder. Monument designations do not affect an inholder’s property and water rights, including access through federal land because inholding land is governed by county & city regulations. The Coalition could not find an instance of a National Monument designation affecting the property or water rights of an inholder when the resources and purpose of the land are consistent with the Monument’s resources and purpose — as is the Red Rock National Monument.
• Once a designation is established, the managing agency (the CNF’s Red Rock Ranger District), local stakeholders and residents develop a long-term management plan for the area to protect and manage its natural resources. This process can take 3-5 years. during which the CNF’s management plan remains in effect.
More information and the proposal are now posted on the Coalition website: redrocknationalmonument.org.
The unnamed people behind this did not accept the input from the public and Sedona City Council last year. They are wrong. They are wrong that they again did not accept our input. They are wrong in not saying who they are. They are wrong saying recreation will not change – if approved the process would only begin meaning hiking, biking, atv, balloons, fishing can all change.
We have plenty of stewards to our land donating money and time, with national monument status – The parks would be in charge and all others are not part of it.
Their info hit the president’s desk Jan 4 per Red Rock News. I have all the articles – news, editorials, etc – and there are very few people trying to force something (encompassing a city into a monument) upon us.
Promoted by the business community including the Chamber to get more tourism a Sedona National Monument is actually adding to overcrowding. KSB and others do not realize the unintended consequences of adding more and more people to the already super busy Sedona.
Under what authority did these RESIDENTS (not elected government officials) have to submit a change of status to Obama? We thought this subject was dropped last year after overwhelming opposition. The city council voted 6 to 1 against it. Kirkpatrick withdrew her support of it. So WHO are these people and who died and named them Emperor of Sedona and the Verde Valley? They people should be brought up on FRAUD charges of impersonating an elected official. I cant think of anyone in Sedona, except the hotel and timeshare industry, that would be happy about Sedona being a National Monument. A city is NOT designed to be a National Monument. Three years ago Obama closed all National Parks and Monuments to force Congress to pass an unsustainable budget. You’re right, Curtis, it will cause the same over-crowding as they are experiencing in Zion. How will they fit more people coming to Sedona? By moving the residents OUT. If you home should have a great view, obstruct a view, or have senior water rights, it is at risk for being bought – most of the money given to new National Monuments have been spent on quietly buying up private property of the inholders. Local government and local control of the forest will cease – Sedona will be run by a nameless, faceless bureaucrat sitting at a desk 2500 miles away making policies for Sedona and the Verde Valley. There will be entrance fees. Cars on the road will be replaced with trams like Yosemite Valley and you’ll have to park and ride = that’s what you get for complaining about the traffic. Stores and schools will close and corporate stores will take over – sending the local economy to big banks in New York. Homes will turn into AirBnBs and Sedona’s new residents will be transcient ones. THIS is the vision they have for you. This is Agenda 21.
If we as a society continue to give credence to totally manufactured ideological assertions and believe them as Truth, we are truly on a significant downward spiral.
Specifically, Mr Johnson, where did you come up with the assertion that “hiking, biking, atv, balloons, fishing could all change”? In one sense that is also true today, as the U.S. Forest Service has the authority under appropriate disastrous conditions to impact them all – but not purely as a result of a National Monument status! Your assertion that “The parks would be in charge and all others are not part of it” is a completely made-up fantasy! “The parks”…whatever that means has NOTHING to do with it!
Mr. Lindner, it is truly going to be surprising to the business community and the Chamber of Commerce that they “promoted” (your word) the National Monument! Not true at all! The data shows that some Monuments generate additional visitation, some do not. Let us assume that you are probably correct, that such a status would provide absolutely FREE destination marketing. In that event, the City of Sedona could save the annual $1,000,000 it contributes to the Chamber of Commerce for Destination Marketing, and utilize that for the Streets and Roads Capital Improvement Fund and the Stormwater Drainage Plan/Fund. Most folks do agree – we don’t need more – we need smarter! A National Monument does exactly that.
I see this as this designation as a positive, except target shooting, jeep rides, and other motorized vehicles should be activities that are banned. There are plenty of places one can do those activities. I’m sure the majority of people who will use this land for recreation would strongly agree.
Ernie, we worked together on some great projects, but there is so much wrong with your statements that I cannot begin to reply with a cell phone, which is all I have here in Denver at my dosposal. I’ve started three times only to lose the data.
We have a president whose legacy is about to go up in smoke and is trying to make a name for himself by misusing another law which he is famous for doing.
I’ll look at this again when I return.
There is no guarantee that things will not “change”. A NEPA study is performed on all monument designations along with a Section 7 analysis by US Fish and Wildlife. THESE studies determine use, not a designation, so to say that is is “settled” as far as land use is concerned is simply grossly inaccurate. These studies typically take 3-5 years. So how is it appropriate to tell people that nothing will change when no one has that answer?
The $1,000,000 “savings” that the city can possible save instead pf giving it to the Chamber of Commerce? The legality of the city of Sedona giving public tax dollars to the Chamber who is promoting businesses OUTSIDE the city limit is already under scrutiny by the state. Prescott for example, gives ZERO to their chamber, which is by the way normal. Chambers are supposed to survive from memberships – NOT tax dollars no matter how those taxes are collected.
The Department of Agriculture is in charge of the National Forests, which are set up for multi use for the financial benefit of the states and the US government. The Department of Agriculture MAY still run a National Monument, but if they do, it is in name only as the Department of the Interior runs Monuments and National Parks. A whole different ball game. Under the Property Clause of the Constitution the Federal Government has the right to tell you what you can or cannot do if in THEIR opinion it effects a National Monument, Park, Wilderness Area pr Scenic Area. We have multiple case studies where the land owner has NEVER won. Water rights? Ask the people in New Mexico who had a visit form BLM, and were instructed to put meters on their wells as the aquifer was also under the New National Monument, therefore giving the government the authority over ANYTHING in THEIR view that could effect the Monument. Use too much water, get fined.
What is REALLY disgusting is that the Antiquities Act of 1906 has been abused by many presidents, but there has NOT been a MORE abuse President than Obama. I guess since most of his legacy is going to get dismantled he is on a Monument Train.
Here is the ACT – a 7th grader could understand it:
The President of the United States is authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected. When such objects are situated upon a tract covered by a bona fide unperfected claim or held in private ownership, the tract, or so much thereof as may be necessary for the proper care and management of the object, may be relinquished to the Government, and the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to accept the relinquishment of such tracts in [sic] behalf of the Government of the United States.
NOTE: THE SMALLEST AREA NEEDED TO CONFINE THE ANTIQUITY OR OBJECT – NOT 80,000 Acres which these acres are not even defined properly. It is a RACE to the president’s desk before he leaves office – Disgusting. Let alone 1.7 MILLION acres around the Grand Canyon, they are trying that also using the Act. What is it about THE SMALLEST AREA NEEDED TO CONFINE THE ANTIQUITY OR OBJECT that is so hard to understand?
The Village of Oak Creek and Sedona WOULD definitely be an inholder, and no, it is NOWHERE the same is being surrounded by a National Forest. DHS – want them looking over your shoulder? That’s only ONE issue. They are obligated to do so in any designation of a National Monument or HIGHER. The document is on our website along with a lot of other interesting things around the west like lack of funding, destruction of ranching and small towns, and in California, NO change after a designation. An incompetent president signing a piece of paper does not create magical funding and structure for a Monument or any other designation.
There is already a PASSED FEDERAL budget that states that ANY Monuments in AZ (we have more than any other state) will NOT be funded by Congress. Arizona also has a law that ANY monuments MUST include the lat/long and elevation of EACH AND EVERY “protected” antiquity. Arizona is ready to file suit against the US Government on ANY monument designation.
It is call ed STATES RIGHTS. Suggest you get used to it.
There is not a GOVERNMENT AGENCY in the Verde Valley that voted FOR this local “Monument”. We just have a group of locals that are being pushed by he hijacked Sierra Club to ram this down our throats. O’Hlalaren certainly bailed when he got put down on his prize monument fantasy land by the CITIZENS.
SEDONA – NO
Village of Oak Creek – NO
Clarkdale – NO
Cottonwood – NO
Cornville – NO
Arizona FISH AND GAME – adamantly OPPOSED
Real Estate Board – NO
State Legislature and Governor – NO
You want a Monument – take it to Congress. The game of convincing the PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES to ABUSE the LAW does NOT bode well in the community. Monuments, National Parks and other designations are a CONGRESS decision, where debate, not ideology are in charge.
If you want a ton more information on OTHER monuments around the west that are striping revenue from the Western States go to http://www.arizonaliberty.us