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Coconino County Takes Action to Protect San Francisco Peaks

Coconino County Takes Action to Protect San Francisco Peaks
August 13
10:40 2020

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Coconino County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution Tuesday endorsing a twenty-year extension of a federal Public Land Order withdrawing the San Francisco Peaks from sale, settlement and mineral extraction. The Board’s resolution supports the Coconino National Forest’s application to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the extension of the withdrawal.

The existing Public Land Order, which withdrew 74,689 acres in the San Francisco Peaks and Mount Elden recreation area from development or sale, is set to expire on October 15, 2020. The extension of this order will protect the cultural significance and recreational opportunities the area provides to the citizens of Coconino County and those who visit.

“For many years, the County has supported and worked to conserve our beautiful public lands for the enjoyment of our residents and guests,” said Coconino County Chairwoman Liz Archuleta. “The San Francisco Peaks are not only an important natural area that are valued for outdoor recreation, they are sacred to indigenous peoples within Coconino County, and need to be protected. This proposed order will ensure that the peaks, which are an iconic part of our community’s identity, will continue to be preserved. We encourage BLM to approve the extension.”

The County’s action to support this withdrawal is consistent with other conservation measures that the County has endorsed in the past. These include support for the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act, which would withdraw the Grand Canyon National Park and its watershed from mineral extraction; and the Great American Outdoors Act, signed into law earlier this month to fund deferred maintenance on public lands and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The County encourages the public to provide comments on the application at a Coconino National Forest virtual public meeting August 17 at 5 p.m. The County will submit the adopted resolution along with comments to support the extension. To receive the link to attend the meeting, individuals should email [email protected] with “Withdrawal” in the subject line.

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