At present, 116,351 acres of land within the boundary of the Prescott National Forest exists in checkerboard ownership with the Yavapai Ranch. Under the current pattern of ownership, mini subdivisions of homes could occur on every other section of land. This would seriously fragment this piñon/juniper/grassland ecosystem.
The land exchange would consolidate this block into entirely national forest ownership. The benefits of this action would be:
- Protects or enhances important wildlife and
plant habitat, especially habitat for antelope.
- Reduces the amount of water that could be drawn from the
Verde River Watershed by reducing the allowable development from
approximately 25,000 homes to 16,500 homes.
Assures access to public lands for recreation, hunting and resource
- Significantly reduces opportunity
for private development immediately adjacent to Juniper Mesa