Place-Based Legislation- Red Rocks National Scenic Area

Here’s a link to an article on a Red Rocks Scenic Area near Sedona, Arizona.
Here’s a link to the bill.

Here are some quotes from Senate candidate Glassman’s website:

National Forests are far more development-friendly than other types of federal land and are vulnerable to land swaps that could ruin the scenery. The community and the U.S. Forest Service have already put in place protections within the Forest Management Plan. However, that plan is not a permanent answer. The Sedona Community Plan calls for “maintaining existing limits of the private lands and preserving the National Forest lands within the city.”

Establishing a National Scenic Area would codify plans already in place, having been developed with the Forest Service and Verde Valley community leaders at the same table. It would restrict land swaps that could leader to development further into the Red Rocks. Establishing the NSA would open up the Sedona area to more federal grants to protect this natural resource.

This idea, at least as told here, seems to fit in with the idea that forest plans are necessary, but not sufficient to protect areas from development.

It sounds like some people are afraid that by revising, they will lose important agreements that they have made through forest planning, e.g.,Amendment 12. They seem to be saying that really important agreements should not be revisited through planning. That is the same kind of thinking that led to rulemaking in Idaho and Colorado roadless- there are important land use decisions best not revisited through planning.

I see some paradox here in that we have worked for years on planning rules and plans, to say what you can and can’t do in specific areas. If many feel that “lines on maps saying what you can and cannot do” need to be codified through a more permanent process, what is left that is important and essential to do in forest planning? At the risk of sounding heretical, would it be more cost effective to do lines on maps once and codify than to revisit every 15 years?

If we did this, we could have each forest develop more of a visionary plan with learning objectives and monitoring that would not need to be in regulation.

I also wondered whether it is true that a designation will make it easier to get federal grants? If so, once word gets out, I would see a potential for a serious case of nation-wide Designation Proliferation.

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