WACA Special Resource Study
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the National Park Service (NPS) are jointly initiating a special study to explore management options for an area of land surrounding Walnut Canyon National Monument, primarily administered by the Coconino National Forest.
The Coconino County Board of Supervisors and City of Flagstaff City Council passed Resolution No. 2002-65 in December 2002, supporting additional protection of lands surrounding the Monument and requesting Federal authorization for a special resources and land management study for purposes of determining how best to protect these lands from future development. On March 30, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (the Act) as passed by the United States Congress. The Act includes language directing the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special study on management options for an area within the Peaks and Mormon Lake ranger districts of Coconino National Forest (managed by the USFS) and surrounding Walnut Canyon National Monument (managed by the NPS).
The study area (referred to as the Walnut Canyon Study Area) includes federal, state, and private land, and comprises approximately 30,000 acres, 10 miles south and east of Flagstaff, Arizona.
The Act directs that the study will focus specifically on the following topics:
a) The suitability and feasibility of designating all or part of the study area as an addition to Walnut Canyon National Monument.
b) Continued management of the study area by the USFS.
c)Any other designation or management option that would provide for (1) protection of resources within the study area; and (2) continued access to, and use of, the study area by the public. Additionally, the Act specifies that the agencies must provide for public comment during the execution of the study.