In 2006, American Rivers listed the Verde River as one of the ten most endangered rivers in America.
Why is the Verde River endangered?
Communities within Sedona Verde Valley obtain their domestic water through groundwater pumping. This includes municipal supplies along with private wells. Pumping intercepts water that would naturally flow to the Verde River or its tributaries. As the population has grown, pumping has increased and the base flow of the Verde has diminished.
How is the Verde River tied to the local economy?
Sedona Verde Valley is a center of agricultural activity. In the 1880’s, agricultural diversions were created to move water from the river to crops. Today these historic water claims still keep the fields of the valley producing food and forage. However, antiquated diversion systems currently take more water than is needed for crops, seriously impacting river flows. Efforts are underway to modernize these historic structures to ensure that water is used as efficiently as possible while keeping vital flows in the river.
How can we protect the river and the economy?
A healthy river goes hand in hand with a healthy local economy. The Sedona Verde Valley Tourism Council is working to promote sustainable development and hands-on-conservation to protect our destination for future generations.
In order to make it easy for both visitors and residents to contribute to preserving the region, we’ve partnered with three organizations that are making strides in conservation and sustainable development:
Red Rock Trail Fund: A coalition of hikers, bikers, equestrians and outdoor enthusiasts who believe that the trails that connect us to the adventure and beauty of the Red Rock are worth caring for. Your donations provide direct support to the US Forest Service to establish and maintain trails within the heart of the red rocks. Caring for trails means a healthier watershed, Oak Creek and Verde River.
Learn more about the Red Rock Trail Fund here.
Arizona Certified Green Lodging: The Arizona Certified Green Lodging Program supports sustainable development by working with hotels and accommodation providers to integrate environmental best-practices into their design and operations. The initiative awards points to hotels who include environmentally-friendly features such as recycling programs and energy-efficient lighting. Their system gives guests the option to make more educated decisions while also providing economic incentives for businesses to go green.
Learn more about Arizona Certified Green Lodging here.
One for the Verde: The premise for One for the Verde is that, through supporting river restoration and recreation enhancement projects, business owners and associations will see increased revenues and support from consumers. Participating businesses collect customer donations or make tax deductible contributions to the One for the Verde program. These funds are used to fund Verde River restoration and conservation projects proposed by governmental entities and nonprofit organizations. Proposals are reviewed by a committee comprised of participating business owners and nonprofit representatives.
Funding is awarded to projects that:
- Provide outdoor river recreation opportunities
- Restore and preserve fish and wildlife habitat
- Restore and preserve river and stream water quantity and quality
- Provide outdoor education opportunities that enhance understanding and appreciation of the Verde River and its tributaries
Learn more about One for the Verde here.
Come help us celebrate our beautiful landscapes and unique heritage while helping us to preserve Sedona Verde Valley for generations to come!