Message #339:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Protecting Red Rock/Oak Creek Canyon
Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 19:18:57 -0700


From:	Jane Kolber 

ACTION ALERT

Please call or send letters in response to this Action Alert

HELP PROTECT THE RED ROCK/OAK CREEK CANYON ARREAS AND THE COCONINO
NATIONAL FOREST

The Coconino National Forest had an unprecedented opportunity to protect
three of the most significant private land holdings remaining in the Red
Rocks/Oak Creek Canyon area.  This area receives hundreds of thousands of
visitors each year, providing important recreation opportunities, including
hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, sightseeing, jeep touring, rock
climbing, and wildlife observation.

Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness

The Red Rock landscape is widely known for its scenic features. The
combination of colorful and massive sandstone cliffs and formation, diverse
desert vegetation, and lush streams are of universal appeal.  These scenic
vistas are the primary draw for millions of Sedona visitors and residents.
The Red Rock cliffs also provide habitat for the American peregrine falcon,
a species listed under the Endangered Species Act.  There are a total of
nine peregrine eyries in this U. S. Forest Service planning area, one of
the highest densities of nesting peregrines in the Soutwest. Two parcels,
totaling 230 acres, are located adjacent to the Red Rock Secret Mountain
Wilderness and just north of the Honanki Ruin. Honanki ruin is on the U.S.
Forest list of Historic and Prehistoric Heritage Resource sites.  This
archaeological and cultural historic site providing record of human
habitation going back nearly 8,000 years.  The exceptional quality of the
rock art and cliff dwellings are espeically important to American Indians.
Additionally, the primary Loy Trail access point to the Red Rock
Secret Mountain Wilderness is currently located on one of these
properties. Acquisition of this parcel would bring this portion of the
trail into public ownership.

Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek is a sensitive riparian corridor flowing through the heart of Red
Rock Country.  One of its tributaries, Munds Creek runs directly through
private property.  These creeks are marked by steep canyon walls, a rich
biological environment, and deep, slear pools.  Acquisition of the property
will protect the aquatic wildlife habitat and water quality, as well as
this area's spectacular scenery. The entire Sedona area is experiencing
intense growth pressure and acquisitiion of these three parcels would
protect the area from potential subdivision.  The decision by the U.S.
Forest Service to propose these parcels for acquisition reflect the variety
of public interests in this
landscape.  All three proposed acquisitions are consistent with the
management objectives and the vision of the Coconino National Forest,
Sedona Ranger District, and will advance their efforts to protect the
unique scenic, Biological, and heritage resource values of the Red Rock
Country.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

The federal money to purchase these properties and property rights comes
from the Land and Water Conservation Fund -- not tax dollars.  This fund,
established by Congress in 1964 to protect America's natural and cultural
resources and provide outdoor recreational opportunities, is endowed with
revenue from off-shore oli and gas leasing.   In the past few years, LWCF
has been abysmally funded.  This year, however, Congress allocated an
unprecedented $942 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Already, these funds have largely been reallocated to other projects across
the nation. Your help is needed to let congress know the importance of
allocating funds for the coconino National Forest to protect the Red Rock
Secret Mountain Wilderness and Oak Creek Canyon areas.

Ask your members of Congress to submit a request to the Interior
Appropriations subcommittee to earmark $7 MILLION from the LAND AND WATER
CONSERVATION FUND for the COCONINO NATIONAL FOREST. Let them know that you
want to see the Coconino National Forest protected.  also give them support
for rightfully appropriating off-shore oil and gas lease revenues to the
Land and Water Conservation Fund.  Remind them that these monies should be
allocated to protect America's natural and cultural resources and
provide recreational opportunities, as it was intended.  The land and Water
Conservation Fund provides for significant, forward-thinking investments
for our children.

YOUR ACTION WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE IN THIS CRUCIAL EFFORT!
CONGRESS IS NOW MAKING FUNDING DECISIONS, SO PLEASE WRITE OR CALL YOUR
SENATORS AND HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  

A little more info:

All but about $200 million or less is already earmarked for other
projects. Two of these parcels include priceless archaeological sites.

[ SASIG Ed. note -- Contact your favorite Legislator on Capitol Hill via
http://www.swanet.org/addresses.html or
http://congress.nw.dc.us/congressorg/. ]