River group to employ Community Outreach Director

The Verde Valley Land Preservation Institute and Friends of Verde River Greenway, with assistance from the Walton Family Foundation, announce a joint program to assist local communities to protect river flows, improve riverside habitat and increase sustainable river recreation in the Verde Valley.

Dependable river flows and healthy river habitat have long provided significant economic benefits and enhanced quality of life to area residents, but the future is uncertain. Increasing groundwater withdrawals and inefficient surface water use may over time reduce or eliminate base flow of the Verde River.

Additionally, spread of invasive plant and animal species in riparian areas may result in loss of healthy habitat and associated native species.

Finally, poor land use practices may result in a significant reduction in water quality.

Accordingly, Verde Valley Land Preservation Institute and Friends of Verde River Greenway (FVRG) are seeking a full-time Community Outreach Director to assist private landowners and community and business leaders in the Verde Valley to achieve the following goals:

• Preservation of riparian lands through establishment of conservation easements and development of greenways and trails.

• Regional and local land use planning that supports the preservation of natural open space.

• Restoration and preservation of healthy riverside habitat that supports both human and wildlife communities.

• Sustainable river recreation programs and improved recreational access and facilities.

The new Community Outreach Director should be in place to begin the program by October. For more information, please visit the News section of the Verde Valley Land Preservation Institute website; www.verdevalleylpi.org

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