Forest Service officials continue to act to protect unique riparian plant and wildlife resources
Flagstaff, AZ – Campfires throughout Fossil Creek continue to be restricted, and camping is limited to certain areas away from the creek due to the increase in recreation use, the need for safety of the public, and to protect unique riparian plant and wildlife resources.
“The number of people recreating in Fossil Creek has increased exponentially over the last several years and it’s important for us to act to protect the area from ongoing trash, damage, and impacts from tens of thousands of visitors,” said Heather Provencio, Red Rock district ranger. “Human and pet waste is threatening water quality, trees are being chopped down for firewood, and the ground is being littered with glass, trash, waste, and ash.”
As the Forest Service works with the public to create and implement a long-term Comprehensive River Management Plan, officials and volunteers will be on site informing visitors of current and anticipated changes in how the area is managed for recreation.
Details and a map showing the areas restricted are posted online at http://redrockcountry.org/fossil/fossil-creek-brochure-8-2011.pdf. The restrictions will remain in effect until Mar. 26, 2014, or until rescinded, whichever event occurs first. A copy any Coconino National Forest Order can be found online at http://go.usa.gov/m9s.
In addition to the camping and campfire restrictions, Forest Road 708 from the Strawberry side is closed a half-mile west of the entrance to Upper Fossil Springs Trailhead, extending west and down the canyon to immediately east of the Waterfall Trailhead. The closure is required to find solutions and conduct repairs for ongoing rock slides along the road and to better manage the gridlock traffic conditions at Fossil Creek.
For more information about Fossil Creek or how to help protect the area, please contact the Red Rock Ranger District at (928) 282-4119 or the Payson Ranger District at (928) 474-7900. You may also find more information online at www.coconinoforests.us, www.redrockcountry.org, or www.tonto www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto/home.shtml.