New designated scattered campsites open near Sedona

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Coconino National Forest is thrilled to announce the establishment of a long-awaited designated camping system in the Red Rock Ranger District west of Sedona that provides visitors with designated camping areas and protects resources. natural at the same time.

Coconino National Forest, Scattered Campsites, Sedona Campground,

Photos taken on 08/08/22 by Danika Thiele. Credit: United States Forest Service, Coconino National Forest.

The West Sedona Designated Scattered Camping and Day Use Area now allows campers and recreation enthusiasts visiting the Red Rock Ranger District in West Sedona to use and camp at eight designated scattered camping areas. These areas are made up of nearly 36 acres that accommodate approximately 10 to 35 campsites in each area, totaling 150 to 200 campsites, depending on the size of the vehicle, trailer or RV.

The designated areas are accessible via National Road 89A, with five of these areas located along the popular access Forest Road 525, while two others are located along FR 89B and the last area on FR 9570A. Each site operates on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We’ve been gathering public input, working with local residents and many stakeholders and partners for years to implement this camping and day-use system,” said Red Rock District Ranger Amy Tinderholt. “We are very pleased that all of this hard work from everyone involved is paying off and we believe that this effort to provide more managed recreation opportunities in a very high demand area will balance access and resource protection. “

Along with the designated camping system, a forest ordinance was put in place that prohibits scattered camping and campfires in the 32,130-acre area that makes up most of the National Forest west of Sedona. This involves keeping campers within the eight designated areas and creating scattered campsites along logging roads which negatively impact the terrain and can lead to trespassing on private land.

By creating these designated areas and banning scattered camping elsewhere in west Sedona, the Red Rock Ranger District hopes to reduce conflicts between visitors and private property owners, who are expressing growing concerns about illegal and abandoned campfires. , human waste, waste left behind, noise levels. , terrain impacts, violations of the 14-day camping limit, and the continued creation of user-created campsites and roads. Years of efforts to achieve this have been carried out in partnership with the National Forest Foundation.

“As we see visitation to the National Forests continue to increase, the National Forest Foundation is pleased to be able to bring together public and private funding to promote responsible recreation,” said Sasha Stortz, Arizona program manager for the National Forest Foundation. “By working together, we can reduce impacts, improve habitat and water quality, and manage special places like West Sedona for all to enjoy.”

An ancient forest order has been in place since 1999 that prohibits camping and campfires on 50,520 acres of the district surrounding the northern and southern parts around Sedona. With the addition of a forestry order now covering west Sedona, camping and campfires will be prohibited on an additional 32,130 acres, encompassing a total of 82,650 acres where camping and campfires are not allowed. allowed. This reduces the risk of human-caused wildfires that could quickly threaten Sedona and its people, while protecting the natural beauty that surrounds Red Rock Country.

Violations of the Code of Federal Regulations, including forestry orders, campfire restrictions, and closures like this can result in a fine of up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail.

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