Trouble in paradise: Protecting Red Rock Country has downside

Dan Dagget

Dan Dagget

Author, environmentalist and long-time Sedona resident Dan Dagget observed many changes since arriving here in 1980. Learn what he's witnessed and more about the health of Sedona's ecosystem during Keep Sedona Beautiful's "Preserving the Wonder" Speaker Series event at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 10 at KSB's historic Pushmataha Center, 360 Brewer Road.

Previewing his upcoming talk, Dagget says, "I continue to be concerned about the mountains, canyons, rivers and wide open spaces around Sedona ... so, I have continued to keep track of [certain] areas. ...As a result, I have something to report that may surprise you. It certainly surprised me."

Dagget fought coal surface-mines in Ohio before moving to Arizona. Once here, he helped pass a bill to protect the wilderness areas surrounding Sedona, fought to increase protection for mountain lions and black bears, and helped initiate a campaign to ban uranium mining in the Grand Canyon vicinity. He is the author of two books, Beyond the Rangeland Conflict Toward a West that Works, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and Gardeners of Eden, Rediscovering Our Importance to Nature, involving the western rangelands and issues of livestock grazing.

"The surprise," says Dagget, "is that the problems I made such a big deal about as an anti-grazing activist haven't gone away even where grazing has. In fact, in many cases, they have become worse, so much worse that a significant portion of western rangelands may be in worse shape today than they were when the campaign to protect them was at its hottest. What is different, however, is that the responsibility for the deteriorated condition of the western range has shifted -- reversed, in fact. Now, I believe it is protection and regulation that are causing the most significant damage."

The evening will include complimentary appetizers donated by El Rincon Restaurante Mexicano and refreshments provided by Keep Sedona Beautiful, Inc. (KSB).

KSB welcomes the community and visitors alike to its monthly "Preserving the Wonder" Speaker Series, which is held the second Wednesday of each month, September through June.

KSB's Speaker Series focuses on presenting a diversity of programs relevant to the unique environment of our region. KSB is a nonprofit organization that, by acting through the stewardship of its members and volunteers, is committed to protecting and sustaining the unique scenic beauty and natural environment of the Greater Sedona Area.

For more information, call 928-282-4938, or visit www.keepsedonabeautiful.org.

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