By Ron Vernesoni
(October 19, 2014)
I recently reviewed the report released by the US Forest Service for the Sedona Red Rock District regarding user conflicts on trails (“A Study of User Conflicts on Sedona Area Non-motorized Trails, Red Rock Ranger District, Coconino National Forest, Final October 2014”).
I recognize the study was intended to be about “user conflicts” but there is not one mention of environmental and ecological considerations in the entire report. It is a fundamental issue in this discussion and should at least deserve honorable mention in the report. It is a very telling omission.
What about the conflicts for non-human users of the forest (wildlife)? Who is representing their interests? They don’t have a voice in this discussion.
The USFS in collaboration with Sedona commercial interests has succeeded in turning the Sedona area forest into a theme park—which is exactly what Amendment 12 in the Forest Management Plan indicates it will not do. The USFS is failing to protect the Sedona area forests for generations to come, and has turned it into a commodity. Land of many “uses” indeed.
You are “selling the day to profit the hour” (Amendment 12*).
*(From US Forest Service Amendment 12)
We recognize the national and international importance of the Sedona/Oak Creek ecosystem. We respect the links between ourselves, all human activities and the natural world, and realize that the environment is a sensitive and limited living system in need of actions to sustain and enhance it. We will not regard the area as a potential theme park for commercial exploitation at the expense of nature. We will not sell the day to profit the hour.”