28 – South Fork Day Use Area (2021)

(This is a part of a series of gleanings from the history of CRC’s 30 years of work; additional posts available here.)

In April 2021, CRC, after much deliberation, opposed the proposal to develop the South Fork Day Use Area.

Our concerns: This proposal violated the Coronado National Forest Plan in several respects. Most importantly, the proposed development was sited within the South Fork Zoological-Botanical Area, which needs to be managed in its natural state. The Forest Plan did not identify any areas within the ZBA as suitable for development. 

The proposal also did not address impacts to Mexican Spotted Owls. The proposed development was directly adjacent to a Spotted Owl Protected Activity Center, where fledgling owls have been seen by CRC Directors and members in multiple years.

You can read our full comments here.

For now, this development is on hold. We believe that aspects of the plan––such as a handicap trail––are worthy but can be better developed in the main Cave Creek Canyon.

Mexican Spotted Owl fledglings at the site of the proposed South Fork development
(Photo by Noel Snyder)

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