Sedona AZ (October 3, 2019) – The Boards of Directors of Keep Sedona Beautiful (KSB) and Save Our Ancient Red Rocks (SOAR) have voted to merge their organizations, including their boards, programs, and assets. “We have very compatible programs and I think we will both benefit from this merger,” according to Bill Pumphrey, President of KSB. “Our two groups have very similar missions – to protect the scenic beauty, national forest flora and fauna, and cultural treasures of the greater Sedona area,” said Peggy Chaikin, President of SOAR.
KSB has been a leader in environmental preservation in the Sedona area since 1972. It has initiated major zoning and land-use ordinances adopted by the City of Sedona and the two counties that Sedona straddles, and has sponsored litter lifters, dark skies initiatives, and native plant workshops. KSB offers educational lectures, bestows awards for excellence in civic and environmental matters, and continues to work for preservation of the local natural environment.
SOAR’s programs have included working for long-lasting protection of the iconic red rock landscape of the Coconino National Forest surrounding Sedona, focusing on maintaining a healthy watershed function in our semi desert grassland savannah areas, and initiating the first Northern Arizona Environmental Conference. SOAR had collaborated with local non-profits to sponsor the Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibit, including Friends of the Verde River, Camp Verde Library, Yavapai College and the Yavapai-Apache nation.
Both organizations believe that collaboration with the Coconino National Forest, regional Native Nations, and other local environmental groups will be crucial as they work to protect our natural and cultural resources in this time of climate change and ongoing threats to the environment.
KSB will retain its name, while the SOAR name will live on in KSB programs and initiatives. Four board members from SOAR will join the KSB Board of Trustees. The combined energy of the two organizations will make for a more effective and wider-reaching voice for safeguarding the area’s fragile environment.