Sedona Verde Valley Red Rock National Monument
I am opposed to the effort to transform the Red Rock Ranger
District into a National Monument. I don’t see how another
layer of federal bureaucracy is going to help anything with our
region. I believe it would create far more problems for
Sedona than it would solve. My sources tell me that the Red
Rock Ranger District would love to see our area get the
National Monument designation because it would open the
door for the Forest Service to try and hand off the
management of our region to the National Park Service. The
Forest Service has said our area is one of the most difficult
for them to handle with the volume of people recreating here
and the lack of funds and resources they need to do their job.
Turning it over to the National Park Service would end the
problem for the Forest Service. There is no guarantee that the
National Park Service would get the funding or resources they
would need to manage the area so no one knows what to
expect from the Park Service. The other reality is that there is
no support in Congress for a National Monument designation
for Sedona. It was previously rejected when Rob Adams went
to Washington D.C., to meet with Ann Kirkpatrick for the
designation. That effort failed when it never got out of
Most of this is being pushed by a small advocacy of Sierra
Club and like members in hopes of curtailing activity and
development in our area. I used to really respect Tom O’
Halleran, but it is waning now that he is pretending to be a
Republican wearing Democrat clothing. It was good to see
that he and his KSB constituents couldn't goad the Sedona
City Council into supporting KSB’s push for the National
|Citizen Letters and Comments
|Read Letter from AZ Representative, Bob Thorpe, District 6 HERE
|Leaked Memo Uncovers Obama Administration Land Grab
(Click HERE for ORIGINAL Article)
See the "Leaked Memo" HERE
Posted March 4, 2010 by Shawn Martini in Industry, Legislative, Rural Life, Wildlife/Environment.
Colorado is on the front lines of federal land acquisition, fighting to keep the federal government out of our
backyard on multiple fronts.
Senator Jim DeMint took to the pages of the Washington Post this morning to raise the alarm about a
planned, 10 million acre Western land grab by the Obama administration.
A secret administration memo has surfaced revealing plans for the federal government to seize more than
10 million acres from Montana to New Mexico, halting job- creating activities like ranching, forestry, mining
and energy development. Worse, this land grab would dry up tax revenue that’s essential for funding
schools, firehouses and community centers.
President Obama could enact the plans in this memo with just the stroke of a pen, without any input from
the communities affected by it.
The leaked document lists 17 sites in 11 states that could be designated as national monuments through
the federal Antiquities Act. Over 380,000 acres in Colorado are designated in the memo under the heading
“Prospective Conservation Designation.”
The memo was leaked by a Department of Interior official to Utah Congressman Bob Bishop.
According to the memo, around 380,000 acres of BLM and private land in Colorado would be subject to a
“conservation designation” under the National Monument designation of the 1906 Antiquities Act. The
Vermillion Basin, northwest of Craig, and the Alpine Triangle near Ouray are listed in the memo. This
designation would close the areas off to multi-use activities including, mining, hunting, grazing, oil and gas
development and other recreational activities.
The Vermillion Basin in Northwest Colorado may be closed to multiple use activities and oil and gas
“President Obama spoke last month at his State of the Union address about the need to use America’s
natural resources. It does not make much sense to recognize the need to put America’s vast stores of
energy resources to use, and then work to limit access to them. Especially in this economy,” said Alan
Foutz, President of Colorado Farm Bureau.
The memo shows that the goal of the designations is to limit multiple use activities and the potential
development from oil and gas companies. It says all kinds of animals would be better off under the
designation, like the coyotes, badgers, prairie dogs, elk, deer and pronghorn.
“”Deer and elk populations are thriving and we in Colorado don’t need help from the federal government in
order to manage them effectively,” added Foutz.
Citing the “unique landscape” and “scenic qualities” the memo notes that the vermillion basin is “currently
under threat of oil and gas development, which will forever alter the region.”
Deer and elk are thriving all over Colorado, living happily alongside oil and gas development.
In Nevada, the Obama administration might make another monument in the Heart of the Great Basin
because it, supposedly, is a “center of climate change scientific research.”
Interior staffers also note in the report that the Alpine Triangle carries about 25,000 acres of patented
mining claims that could be used to support backcountry cabins and second home development, which
would “threaten the landscape.”
A Potential Fix
Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05) is introducing legislation, H.R. 4716 , with Congressman
Mike Coffman (CO-06) that would safeguard Colorado from arbitrary presidential monument designations
and ensure that all future national monument designations only occur through an open and transparent
process that includes input from local officials, residents, and stakeholders.
“Colorado has a rich supply of natural energy that if used responsibly can provide high paying jobs and
reduce energy costs. But this Administration just doesn’t get it. It seems President Obama and Secretary
Salazar would rather lock up our valuable Western resources than help lower energy costs and create jobs.
At the very least, they owe it to the people of Colorado to discuss their agenda in an open manner,” said
“This legislation will help ensure that any decision to further restrict access to valuable natural resources is
done so with the full input and knowledge of the people of Colorado. Congressman Lamborn and I call on
the entire Colorado delegation to support this bill. It will ensure that the people of Colorado have a voice in
what happens in our state,” explained Mr. Coffman.
In 1950, Congress passed a law that prohibited the future establishment of national monuments in
Wyoming except as authorized by Congress. H.R.4716 is modeled after this legislation but inserts
Colorado in the place of Wyoming.
Over the last forty years, the federal government has spent nearly $13 billion adding hundreds of thousands
of acres to the federal estate. In fact, an area larger than the size of Florida has been added to federal
lands since John F. Kennedy was president.
President Carter used his National Monument "proclamation authority" to offset the perceived damage
from the construction of the Trans Alaska pipeline. (How did THAT work out?)
Congressman Bishop says that he released the document because he does not want to see another land
grab like what happened under previous administration.
Several past presidents have made gratuitous use of the National Monuments designation to give back-
room favors to their environmentalist supporters. The law allowed Former President Clinton to single-
handedly create 19 new national monuments, expand three others and prohibit recreational use over 5.9
million acres without ever consulting anyone.
He unilaterally closed the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah to oil and gas
development, without ever consulting the public or state, local and federal officials. Prior to the
designation, the 135,000 acre region was responsible for producing 65,000 barrels of oil a year. The
designation even sparked a Supreme Court case.
President Jimmy Carter used the executive to lock up more land than any other president; all in the name of
“conservation.” He took more than 50 million acres in Alaska despite heavy opposition from the state.
United Citizens Against the Sedona Verde Valley National
A common way to control the non-thinking masses, and to
trick them into supporting something that will actually harm
them, cost them money or cause them to give up some of
their rights; is to create a "crisis", and then to present "a
solution", which then imposes the "cost".
Tom O'Halleron is a career politician with an agenda. His
main selling point to the President and others in Washington
D.C. is that Keep Sedona Bountiful claims there to be 840
identified and cataloged archeological sites within the
proposed boundaries of the National Monument, with an
"estimated" additional 6000 sites yet to be discovered.
Anybody who has spent as much time as I have exploring the
cliffs, canyons, hilltops and waterways of this area can tell you
that these numbers are wildly inflated to the point of being
O'Halleron has a pre-planned answer for almost any question
about this boondoggle. When he doesn't have a canned
answer, he skirts the question in a very slick and sleazy
manner, and twists it back around to ending with an opinion
presented as a fact that is in his favor, to trick even more
idiots to signing on to his evil plan.
His main motivation seems to be to get more funding from
the "higher level of a National Monument" designation,
compared to the basic level of a "National Forest"
designation. Has anybody stopped to ask where all of this
money will end up? Most likely in either his pockets or those
of his political cronies!
As for the average citizens of this area, what do they have to
look forward to?
First and foremost: There WILL be new or additional
restrictions that will limit our access and activities on OUR
public lands in OUR back yards significantly more than what
the Forest Service already does.
Second: Although O'Halleran keeps promising that there will
be no impact to private property rights, I am willing to bet
anybody anything they want, that within 10 years there will be
MULTIPLE new restrictions on private property rights
throughout the area, directly as a result of the National
Monument designation, especially in the arena of water rights.
Third: We will be inundated with more tourists, many of which
will ONLY be coming to see why the area has been
designated as a National Monument. And I guarantee that the
additional impacts to wildlife, the environment and to
archeological sites, as well as our fragile and finite
infrastructure will be far more than what can be mitigated by
O'Halleron throwing a bunch of the taxpayer's money at them.
Fourth: Speaking of money, expect to see new and increased
fees coming into play on many different fronts; perhaps not
immediately, but certainly within a few short years of the
And finally, watch the property "values" skyrocket almost
immediately. This may not be a bad thing for those who really
don't give a shit about this area, and are looking to cash out
and leave for greener pastures; but for those who own
property here, love it, and wish to stay, this merely equates
into correspondingly higher property taxes; and for those who
currently rent, and are hoping to someday purchase their own
little piece of red rock heaven, the brass ring will just be
raised that much higher.
by John Roberts
KSB has asked the Sedona city council to endorse the National Monument concept. I do not think that they
should. The following are my reasons.
Here we go again! That National Monument idea came up some 10 or so years ago. Maybe some of the
same folks are promoting it again after thoughtful opposition defeated the concept long ago. It was a bad
idea then and still is.
The proposal intends to save the forests and its treasures by turning over control of all non private lands (
state property is included ) to the US Forest Service for administration. Saving the forests is a good idea and
the impetus is that tourism will end up doing harm and especially in the future.
But that means injecting another governance than now exists. Why another level ? The details of how a new
entity can accomplish the protection is a big assumption and not explained. Sounds like wishful thinking.
I do not like it that obfuscation is being introduced into the considerations. The slick literature is very general
and the evasive replies from proponents to real questions rings alarm bells for me. What bothers me even
more is the similarity I find to the pitches I heard and read from the Voice of Choice group who promoted the
two lane design for 179 when it was rebuilt .We now have a roadway that is failing to deliver traffic as it
should and this situation will only become worse when the recession ends and tourists really begin to
return to Sedona. Are these some of the same people now manning the presses at KSB ? I have evidence
that some of them are.
At the 7/16 KSB presentation for this concept we were told that budget cuts have severely depleted the
Forest Service staff. Then we must ask how will the service handle another assignment like the National
Monument and do a good job let alone continue the current work they perform.
During this same session at the library traffic problems in Sedona were discussed. I asked a question
about the forest services qualification to handle traffic designs. The reply I heard was unrelated and thus
evasive. The answer was that ADOT said that their design of 4 lanes for the 179 rebuild would only create a
big parking lot. Any qualified engineer will tell you that's pure garbage talk. If this represents a National
Monument setting for thinking then I sure do not want any part of it, nor should anyone else. More importantly
what business is it of the forest service to be involved in our traffic problems or for that matter any other
issue we in Sedona have.
Sedona has made many good decisions since the city was formed. But this charming town also gets
emotional and then irrational to then end up becoming fuzzy thinkers. To cite just a few examples they are
the Barbara Antonson dome collapse, both highway 179 and uptown 89A designs, smart meters ,etc..So
let's not get swayed by this idea which others and some current residents found so foolish not many years
KSB keeps our roads clean of trash. They have other good ideas. But their qualification and competence in
this National Monument matter is just not deep enough.
That's why I ask the council not to vote to endorse this unworkable and unnecessary National Monument
NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF PROPOSED NATIONAL
COUNTY REPORT DETAILS NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF
PROPOSED NATIONAL MONUMENT DESIGNATION
LOS ANGELES COUNTY —The Los Angeles
County Departments of Public Works and Fire reported
concerns to the Board of Supervisors with the proposed
National Monument Designation for the San Gabriel
Mountains. This report was requested by Supervisor
Michael D. Antonovich on September 2, 2014 after
numerous community stakeholders and business leaders
expressed growing concern for the proposed change in
designation of the San Gabriel Mountains.
“This list of issues is alarming. We have been told
repeatedly that this designation will have no impacts on
County operations, yet our County departments
immediately identified multiple areas of concern,” said
Supervisor Antonovich. “We now have more questions
than answers, and unfortunately, we will be unable to
definitely determine the potential impacts of a
designation prior to the President’s ill-advised Executive
In their report, the Department of Public Works and Fire
Department identified areas of concern, including:
• Fire suppression
• Water resources
• Flood control facilities
The Monument Plan is in response to perceived gridlock
in Congress regarding the National Recreation Area Bill.
However, the National Recreation Area Bill had
significant public input and transparency.
“Congresswoman Chu and the President are bypassing
stakeholders by rushing this Monument Designation,”
said Supervisor Antonovich. “This should be tabled until
the Monument Designations Management Plan has been
finalized and vetted with the community and impacted
Craig Dible says:
October 11, 2015 at 11:10 am
An Open Letter to the Sedona City Council:
At the September 22nd Sedona City Council meeting, at least
80% of the audience attending were strongly against the
proposed Sedona Verde Valley Red Rock National Monument.
At the October 8th Big Park Regional Coordinating Council
meeting, another 80% were clearly against the Monument.
At that meeting, the BPRCC voted 16 to 6 to rescind its letter of
support for the Monument.
The Red Rock News continues to show the same ratio: 80%+
oppose the Monument.
Representative Ann Kirkpatrick is reported to have washed her
hands and will not become involved in or support the Monument.
Although details are lacking at this point, it also is being
reported that the State of Arizona is launching an investigation
into the whole Monument proposal.
Other than three members of the Sedona City Council, I cannot
find any elected official anywhere in the Verde Valley who
supports the Monument.
My wife and I have been Keep Sedona Beautiful members for a
decade and spent years as volunteer litter lifters. And yet, no
one asked us, or any other members we know, about the
Monument proposal prior to its launch.
It appears KSB, a venerable institution with 43 years of positive
accomplishments and achievements, has been hijacked by a
small group of politically-motivated operatives.
The idea that this handful of arrogant elitists can decide the
fate of an estimated 70,000 to 80,000 people living within the
Monument’s 160,000 acres is just plain unacceptable.
Clearly, KSB’s reach has exceeded its grasp. Do not make the
same mistake. The City of Sedona has no authority or
jurisdiction to impose this Monument on businesses, property
owners, residents and recreational activities outside city limits.
While those living and working in Sedona will inevitably be
affected by the Monument, most of the impacts and restrictions
will be imposed on people outside city limits.
If you continue to support the Monument, our only defense at
that point will be to launch a recall to protect ourselves from
further intrusions by the Sedona City Council.
Please walk away from this. Last Thursday, the BPRCC
decided, wisely, to withdraw its support. The Sedona City
Council should do the same.