There's Still Time To Weigh In On Fossil Creek Management Plan

By Melissa Sevigny
Published: Friday, January 6, 2017 - 8:47am
Updated: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 11:16am
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(Photo by Melissa Sevigny - KNAU)
Fossil Creek.
(Photo courtesy of Marcos Roybal and Coconino National Forest)
Last year, the Forest Service implemented an online registration system to help curb the number of visitors. In 2013, there were 80,000 visitors.

The U.S. Forest Service has invited the public to comment on a proposed plan to manage visitor access to Fossil Creek. It’s meant to protect the unique ecology of the popular swimming spot.

The plan would limit visitors to about 800 people at a time. That number could increase to 1700 people if the Forest Service determines the creek won’t be damaged.  

"Fossil Creek is special to a lot of people and has a lot of sensitive natural and cultural resources, but also a lot of recreational use. So we want to make sure we’re balancing those two sometimes competing uses and needs," said Marcos Roybal, Fossil Creek coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service.

MORE: Last Stretch Of Arizona’s Fossil Creek Receives Protection

The plan includes expanded recreation sites, trails, parking spots and bathrooms. The Forest Service would allow some overnight camping and add a welcome center.

Other options under consideration include the addition of a “scenic route” along the creek for motorists; or, closing off the area to cars entirely.

On Jan. 12, the Forest Service extended the deadline to submit comments until Jan. 27. The plan will be finalized in early 2018.

Public meetings to discuss the proposal will be held in Payson and Camp Verde. Find more information about the plan and how to submit comments.

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