Arizona - The Tonto National Forest, home of popular paddling destinations like the Salt River and Verde River, is now accepting formal comments on a Preliminary Proposed Plan. Comments on the Preliminary Proposed Plan are most useful if received by January 12, 2018.
The Preliminary Proposed Plan (PPP) is the first step in revising the current land and resource management plan. The PPP was developed based on public and resource specialist feedback and is intended to update the 1985 Tonto Plan as well as address the issues identified in the assessment. It consists of desired conditions, objectives, standards, guidelines, and management approaches for forest resources. Learn more about the Preliminary Proposed Plan by viewing this video produced by the Tonto Plan Revision team.
Photos: Peter Holcombe
American Whitewater is curently reviewing the PPP, and we encourage paddlers to offer input on topics that impact rivers. These include, but are not limited to:
- The Forest has found 22 rivers to be eligible for Wild & Scenic Rivers Protection. Currently, there are two designated Wild & Scenic Rivers on the Forest - the Salt and Verde. We applaud the Forests commitment to protecting the values and free-flowing character of these 22 additional rivers by maintaining Eligibility until a Suitability Analysis is required if management actions are changed in the future.
- Desired Conditions within the Lakes and Rivers Management Area, which includes the lower Salt River and Verde River, should expressly differentiate rafting/kayaking activities from tubing. In the event that capacity and conflicts arise from flow-related recreation, separate analysis should be conducted for each user group.
Comments on the Preliminary Proposed Plan can be submitted in the following ways: