An update and preview of things to come

Mel Copen<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->President	Big Park Regional Council

Mel Copen<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->President Big Park Regional Council

At its April meeting, the Council voted unanimously to support the continuation of the Forest Service’s Red Rock Pass program, although it recognized that the program would require some change from the way it was administered in the past.

This program provides much needed funds – funds that would not otherwise be available - to maintain the facilities and the superb trail system in those parts of the Coconino National Forest that surround the greater Sedona area.

Between the April and May meetings, representatives had a chance to study the alternative proposals put forth by the Forest Service. At the May meeting, again unanimously, the council voted to recommend alternative 5 – a pattern which assign fees to a central area containing linked trail systems and, additionally, to specific sites outside of that area where the appropriate amenities are available.

It was felt that this proposal, or something similar, would be simple for visitors to understand, easy to administer, and fall within the legal guidelines that the law provides.

This was also an opportunity to welcome our new Acting District Ranger, Scott Russell, who participated in the discussion. Scott is here on a three-months assignment, temporarily replacing Heather Provencio, while she is detailed to another National Forest in Oregon.

The Vision Survey data analysis has now been completed. By the time this appears in print, it should be posted on the Council website (www.BigParkCouncil.org).

There is a lot of information to absorb and the Vision & Enhancement Committee is trying to boil it down into “digestible form.”

As a next step, the Committee members have each been asked to identify the key (hopefully 8-10) issues that should be addressed. We hope to be able to focus our attention on those that are most resonant in the minds of the members of the community.

Please look at this information and feel free to add your voice to this effort.

Once the key issues have been identified, we plan a number of informal small sessions with members of the community to make sure that we have the right agenda, to be followed, in the fall, by a major community process where we will try to formulate a “vision for the future.”

A number of other important issues were discussed, most of which will be on the agenda for review or action at the June meeting.

These are also issues of great importance to the community,. Please make note of the meeting details (Thursday morning, June 9th, 9:30 a.m. at the Fire Station here in the Village). Everyone is welcome and your views are important!

County Supervisor Chip Davis and other County officials will meet with us to discuss the redistricting proposals. As required by law, Yavapai County will move from three supervisors to five in 2012.

Earlier this year, as part of the County’s efforts to obtain general input, Supervisor Davis and others met with the Council. Very helpful and informative discussions were held. At that time the Council voted to recommend to the Supervisors that, as they draw up alternatives, they keep the Greater Sedona Area intact.

The next step was for the supervisors to draw up three to five alternative scenarios to take back to the public for comment. That will be the focal point of the discussion at the June meeting – again a topic of great importance to all of us.

Another important issue relates to the work of the “Weed Abatement Task Force.” They have been examining alternatives relating to the roadside situation in the area outside of the Red Rock Road Enhancement Maintenance District (RREMD) (mainly south of the Village and up to the Ranger Station).

They will be presenting their report, along with recommendations.

A related issue has to do with concerns expressed about the weed situation within the RREMD. A number of individuals have expressed their concerns directly to the County. That is another important topic that will be discussed.

Finally, as was previously announced (details were provided in last month’s Villager), the Council is no longer running its own summer program for children – not because it is not important, but because we have no one to run it. As an alternative, the Recreation Committee has recommended participation in a great program run by the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Arizona. There are two programs, one for 5-12 year olds and the other for ages 13-18. They start on May 31 and finish July 29. If you have questions about the program, you can call the Boys and Girls Club at 928-282-7822,. There is a $35 membership fee, plus a nominal per-day charge. The Recreation Committee has $35 grants available for single parent families with at least two children who wish to participate. To apply, write a brief note, explaining your situation and either email to recreation@bigparkcouncil.org or mail to: Recreation Committee, Big Park Regional Coordinating Council, PO Box 20248, Sedona AZ 86341.

Lots of things going on. If you are not already a part of them, please do get involved.

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