Think of it: a new wild and scenic river in the heart of Arizona. Legislation to protect Fossil Creek is part of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act and awaits a vote in the House of Representatives.
Help us protect Fossil Creek forever by writing or calling your congressional representatives today!
Fossil Creek was once a gem of the Arizona desert. Its mineral laden waters created geologic formations along the 14-mile course of the creek, including deep iridescent, blue pools and waterfalls. For roughly the past 100 years, this treasure has been virtually dry due to an upstream dam that diverted most of the creek's waters.
Click here to learn more about Fossil Creek by reading the complete Arizona Wilderness Coalition Wild and Scenic River Proposal.
Fossil Creek Reborn In 1999, our conservation partners reached a historic agreement with the dam owners, APS, to restore the water that once nourished the flora and fauna of Fossil Creek. This agreement was finally executed in June 2005 when the owners ceased hydro operations and Fossil Creek was reborn. Restoration of Fossil Creek is one of the greatest opportunities to ensure the survival of five rare native Arizona fishes. Restoration of Fossil Creek also helps to restore the Yavapai-Apache Nation's hunting, gathering, and spiritual traditional sites in the watershed.
Recreational Opportunities Abound Return of natural flows to Fossil Creek has created an area of more than 14 contiguous miles of year-round water in an area where such resources are virtually non-existent. It creates opportunities for camping, birding, hiking, horseback riding, and other recreational activities. Restoration of this vital asset offers significant benefits to local communities who will enjoy increased visitation to the area, provided it is well managed.
Longterm Protection Including Fossil Creek in the Wild and Scenic Rivers system will build upon the corporate stewardship of APS and is one of the best ways to serve both visitors and ecological needs. By designating the river as wild and scenic, Congress can protect the remarkable resources from future development of dams or similar structures.
More information: Click here to learn more about Fossil Creek by reading the complete Arizona Wilderness Coalition Wild and Scenic River Proposal.
Take Action! Contact information, sample letter, and some tips on contacting your representatives to support a Wild and Scenic Fossil Creek designation:
Be polite (the person answering the phone works very hard and doesn't get paid much).
Get to the point quickly: ask that your representative support the Ominbus Public Lands Management Act and the provision in it to protect Fossil Creek as a Wild and Scenic River. Thank them for acting to safeguard Arizona's natural resources, especially its free flowing native waterways, for future generations.
The Honorable Trent Franks
United States House of Representatives
1237 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4576
The Honorable John Shadegg
306 Cannon HOB
The Honorable Ed Pastor
2465 Rayburn HOB
The Honorable Ann Kirkpatrick
1123 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 226-9739 fax
The Honorable Harold Mitchell
2434 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515Phone: (202) 225-2190
The Honorable Jeff Flake
424 Cannon HOB
The Honorable Raul Grijalva
1440 Longworth HOB
The Honorable Gabrielle Giffords
501 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2542
Subject: Please Protect Fossil Creek, Vote Yes on the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act
You have a once in a lifetime opportunity to protect one of Arizona's greatest natural treasures, Fossil Creek. I ask you to support the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, which contains the provision to designate Fossil Creek as a National Wild and Scenic River.
For years, Fossil Creek remained mostly dry due to a 100 year old hydropower project, but now the flow of water has been restored thanks to the environmental stewardship of Arizona Public Service Company and a coalition of conservation organizations. Now, its iridescent waters once again cascade through deep pools and waterfalls.
Return of natural flows to Fossil Creek creates an area of more than 14 contiguous miles of year-round water in a perpetually dry area, offering opportunities for camping, birding, hiking, horseback riding, and other recreational activities. This presents significant benefits to local communities that will enjoy increased visitation to the area, provided it is well managed. Including Fossil Creek in the Wild and Scenic Rivers system is one of the best ways to serve both visitors and ecological needs. By designating the river as wild and scenic, Congress can build upon the generosity of APS and protect the remarkable resources now restored from future development of dams or similar structures.
Congress created the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968 to protect the nation's best free-flowing rivers from activities that would destroy their wild character. A Wild and Scenic designation for Fossil Creek is one of the greatest opportunities to ensure that our children will enjoy what our grandparents have not. Please do all you can to support and pass the Omnibus Lands package and designate Fossil Creek a Wild and Scenic River.
Thank you for your support of our wild lands and waters in Arizona.