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Coconino National Forest Releases Its Oak Creek Watershed Restoration Project

Oak Creek Canyon is a gorge carved into the edge of the Mogollon Rim of the Colorado Plateau along the Oak Creek Fault. Tectonic forces shifting the land to either side of the fault and subsequent erosion by Oak Creek have created a spectacular canyon where the geologic history of this area is an open book.The Canyon is approximately 12 miles long. Oak Creek flows year-round along the bottom of the Canyon, providing water for plants and wildlife, as well as fishing and swimming opportunities. Oak Creek continues on through Sedona, Arizona, meeting up with the Verde River southeast of Cottonwood, Arizona.The depth of the Canyon ranges from 800 to 2000 feet, with trails providing access from the Canyon’s bottom up to the 6500-foot eastern rim and 7200-foot western rim. Some of these trails follow historic routes early Oak Creek Canyon settlers used to access the top of the plateau in the days before the road was built. Trails on the west side of the Canyon head into Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness.Multi-photo panorama by Deborah Lee Soltesz, June 12, 2015. Credit U.S. Forest Service Coconino National Forest. Learn more about Oak Creek Canyon and the Coconino National Forest.

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The Coconino National Forest released its Oak Creek Watershed Restoration Project Friday. The project features nine activities to improve watershed conditions, wildlife habitat and water quality in the watershed. They include the closing and rehabilitating of 26 of the 60 unauthorized parking pull-outs and unauthorized trails along State Route 89A in Upper Oak Creek Canyon. Implementation is expected to begin this fall and continue through the spring of 2020. Other activities include the installation of new pet waste stations near perennial water and trailheads, toilet installation at Angel Valley Forest Road and Chavez Ranch Road day-use sites. For more information, log onto the Forest Service’s website.

For the full project, click here: