NPS seeks comment on Valley monuments
CAMP VERDE - It has been 35 years since the National Park Service made comprehensive plans for managing their three national monuments in the Verde Valley.
Realizing that much has changed since 1975, the NPS has prepared a new plan -- one that will take them another 15 to 20 years forward. And as is always the case with such plans, they are asking for the public's comment.
The plan and accompanying environmental assessment offers three alternatives. Alternative "A" proposes no change in the current plan. The other two alternatives, however, call for significant changes in amenities, access and
Alternative "B," the one preferred by the National Park Service, would open more of the moments' property to visitors, via new trails, including land across Beaver Creek from Montezuma Castle.
The plan would also tie the interpretation and visitation of the three monuments together, as elements of a Verde Valley-wide story of human settlement.
This alternative also calls for purchasing 16 acres adjacent to Montezuma Well and additional acreage at Tuzigoot.
Alternative "C" would see the biggest changes. It calls for building a new monument headquarters at he beginning of the entrance road, on the plateau above Montezuma Castle.
It also calls for the construction of a bridge over Beaver Creek that would allow visitors access to the south bank and a new picnic area and the construction of a self-guided trail that follows the corridor along the creek.
It would also call for adding an additional trail along Montezuma Castle Highway for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking, and a proposed new visitor center at Montezuma Well.
The plan would allow for a parking lot and boat ramp off the Tuzigoot access road and call for acquiring most of the private land within the three monuments' boundaries.
The Park Service has published hard copies of the plan for public scrutiny and placed them at the Camp Verde and Cottonwood Public Libraries along with the Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monument headquarters at 567 S. Main St. in Camp Verde.A copy of the plan is available at, and comments made at, http://parkplanning.nps.gov/MOCA.
Comments can be made until May 24. They can also be hand delivered to the headquarters in Camp Verde or mailed to:
Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot N.M
General Management Plan
NPS Service Center
P.O. Box 25287
Denver, CO 80225