Sedona, Ariz., April 6, 2017 — The Coconino National Forest has issued a Forest Order which limits two areas southwest of Sedona along Forest Road 89B to day use only and restricts overnight camping and campfires.
The locations along Forest Road 89B are focused near Deer Pass Trailhead and Forest Road 89B where it parallels Oak Creek. Both areas will continue to be available for daytime recreation between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The rest of FR 89B will remain open to dispersed camping.
The Forest Service determined that restrictions were necessary for public safety and resource protection. After several years of illegal long-term residential use in the area, it has resulted in unsanitary conditions, garbage dumping, and prevention of recreational use of the area by the general public. Camping on the edge of Oak Creek contributed to degraded water quality, vegetation loss, and the risk of escaped campfires.
“The Forest Service faces a difficult task balancing public recreation access with protection of public lands” said Nicole Branton, district ranger for the Red Rock Ranger District. “After years of increasing signage, education, and enforcement, the situation on Forest Road 89B had become unsafe for the public and district personnel.”
The restrictions are in effect as of March 27 and may expire in two years. The Forest Service will evaluate the effectiveness of the restrictions during that time and will consider other actions such as installing another toilet in the area.
The Red Rock Ranger District provides numerous locations to camp at developed campgrounds and in dispersed camping corridors within 300 feet of roads identified on the Coconino National Forest Travel Map. The map is available at all forest offices and for download to a computer, GPS, or mobile device at http://go.usa.gov/PEa. For more information about recreation activities in the Coconino National Forest, visit www.coconinonationalforest.us and click on the Recreation link.