10/15/2013 1:33:00 PM Letter: Blue River Trail a perfect legacy for future generations
Mayor Von Gausig of Clarkdale gave a presentation to a work session of the Cottonwood City council on developing the Verde River as a designated Blue trail. I accessed the website by American Rivers and read their concept of Blue Trail Rivers and also reviewed his presentation online. The concept is to preserve the rivers by involving the communities to develop the economic, recreational value of the river and enhance habitat value for wildlife. I am sorry that I was unable to attend the presentation as I would have enthusiastically supported it.
Comments in the Verde Independent focused on negative comments; I hope there were positive comments as well.
Clarkdale has adopted the Verde River as a recreation and economic source to be developed. One individual felt that additional use of the river would adversely impact it by polluting the river with trash; I can't disagree more.
I love to hike and spend hours each week in the Sedona Red Rock area and many days between mid-November and mid-March enjoying hiking in Dead Horse State Park and the lower reaches of the Coconino National Forest that abut Cottonwood and Verde Santa Fe.
The Sedona Red Rock recreational area is heavily used by hikers, equestrians, and bicyclists. Trash is not an issue. Go hike a trail and see for yourself. If there is any trash, it is probably remains of 30 plus years ago.
Sedona has economically benefited from the beauty of the Red Rock area. The forest service and bicycle advocacy organizations have worked hard to increase the number of trails and their variety realizing their actions will be an economic benefit to Sedona. The same could happen to the Verde River in the Verde Valley if communities, public land owners, land leasers, and private landowners work together to make the Verde River an attraction equal to the Sedona Red Rocks.
Remember it is not your river or my river; it is our river and we should have the opportunity to enjoy it whether by boating on it, or hiking, biking, or horseback riding alongside it. I would encourage Cottonwood City Council to work with Clarkdale and all agencies and landowners to make the Verde River a Blue Trail. What would be a better legacy to leave to future generations?