Thursday, December 30, 2021

A Community Conversation About Water

Camille Cox, President

A Community Conversation About Water

In October, the Sustainability Alliance produced an online webinar about a new Friends of the Verde River program designed to give homeowners, businesses and communities a new voice in saving the Verde through their River Friendly lifestyle concept. Dr. Max Wilson, Sustaining Flows Manager for Friends of the Verde, explained the challenges the river faces and steps we can take in our daily life to help towards ensuring a healthy river for future generations.

It’s sad but true that the Verde is one of the Southwest's last flowing rivers, home to dozens of species of plants and animals, irrigation for farms, and water to millions of people. For many reasons, the summer flows in the Verde are rapidly declining, threatening to reduce this precious resource to a memory.

In easy-to-understand lingo and compelling visuals, the webinar explains the vulnerabilities of the underground aquifer that supplies the Verde. Although the river headwaters are some distance from us, we are in the greater watershed and seemingly small choices we make as residents and recreators (hiking, biking, kayaking, even dog-walking) DO impact the health of the river.

What is River Friendly Living?   The aim of the program is to inspire a culture throughout the region of voluntary conservation by recognizing those who make choices to protect the Verde River. The program provides a list of actions that residents and businesses can take, and features bronze, silver and gold certification levels. I took the test myself and, to my delight, our home qualified for Silver Certification.

The process is fast and easy. First, I recommend that you listen to the recording of the presentation so you gain full appreciation for what’s at stake, and how your actions will help:  If you’re already a hydrology whiz or just want to fast-track to the checklist, this Friends of the Verde River web page talks about the new program  Second, on the FOTVR page, complete the contact form and say you’re interested in certification. Last, when you receive the application by email, take 5 minutes to complete and submit.

I encourage everyone in the community to consider getting certified. What a sight it would be to have homes throughout the Village displaying signs showing their support for the health of the Verde!  This is one way that you can contribute to our community’s vitality.

Resolution for 2022 – Give Water Some Mind-Share.  Water is essential, mysterious and fascinating to study. The more I learn, the greater my appreciation for the urgency of water stewardship. My personal New Year offering to you is a reading list of books that opened my mind, particularly about the nature of water in desert environments. They are all thought-provoking, well written and will enhance your enjoyment of living in this high desert ecosystem.

The Secret Knowledge of Water, Craig Childs

The West Without Water, B Lynn Ingram and Frances Malamud-Roam

Dead Pool: Lake Powell, Global Warming, and the Future of Water in the West, James Lawrence Powell 

Other BPRCC Water-Related Activities  The Community Plan Committee will be releasing the draft plan in the next few months – and Water is one of the elements they have addressed. In March, a small team of citizens and Yavapai County Development Services staff, under the leadership of District 3 Supervisor Michaels, will be attending the 3-day Arizona Growing Water Smart workshop in Phoenix.  Dr. Marianne Langridge, Big Park/VOC community plan committee member, was honored with a seat on that team, and will bring back valuable information and ideas for activation.

In closing, I look forward to continuing in service to this community in 2022 as your Council president.  There are many important projects in process, and I look forward to seeing them come to fruition and contributing to the health and preservation of the Big Park Region.

Isaak Dudley with Friends of the Verde River, presented Camille and Philip Cox with a yard sign proclaiming their property as a Certified Silver Level River Friendly Home. The new program recognizes residents and businesses for taking measures that conserve and protect the Verde watershed region.

Local COVID Testing Information


Locally available tests and testing products is constantly changing, and a bit complicated. We have collected some information to help you understand and locate available options. The Big Park Council does not endorse or recommend any particular test/vaccine source or location.

Information resources on COVID-19 self-testingBuying and scheduling COVID-19 tests

If you are traveling, be sure that you confirm the test requirements for your specific destination. Some destinations accept a self-test result, while others require that the test be administered by a Health Care Professional. Timeframe restrictions also vary, and you'll need to plan ahead to ensure your test results meet the requirement.

The timing for test results varies by the type of test, the lab providing the results, and the number of people being testing at a given time or location. This can be anywhere from a few hours to five days - so call ahead and understand which type of test you are scheduling and when the results will be available.

When shopping for self tests, compare the approved diagnostic tests on the FDA list to what is available at the local stores and/or online. There may be additional locations and sources available in addition to those listed here. Phone numbers for individual locations can be found within the website links. Be sure to call to confirm before going to get your test(s).

The number of tests available for purchase and delivery options is another variable that can change, based on availability and demand.

Local curbside testing (PCR) and lab tests (PCR/NAAT) administered by a health care professional may also be available from the sources listed as well as from Spectrum Healthcare in Cottonwood (1-877-634-7333) 651 W. Mingus Ave., and NextCare Urgent Care in Sedona (928-203-4813) 2530 AZ 89A, Leenhouts Office Park.

COVID-19 vaccination shots and boosters

Information on locations and availability of COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, can be found on the Arizona Department of Health Services website. Information can be viewed as a map or list:

The pharmacies and medical facilities listed above for testing, also may provide vaccination and booster shots. Call first as availability changes daily as does the need for an appointment vs. walk-in.

Friday, December 17, 2021

USFS Environmental Assessment (EA) for the APS Oak Creek to McGuireville 69kV Power Line Project

The Coconino National Forest has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the APS Oak Creek to McGuireville 69kV Power Line Project. This project includes the authorization of a long-term special use permit to construct, operate, and maintain a 13.7 mile long 69kV power line between the existing Village of Oak Creek substation and the existing McGuireville substation. The purpose of this project is to connect the power grid in the Verde Valley region, which would increase power flexibility and availability while also reducing risk of power outage for communities in the Verde Valley. This project is located just south of the Village of Oak Creek and extends south to within a few miles of McGuireville in central Arizona.

Alternative 1 Power Line Route

The preliminary EA and other project related documents are available on-line at Additional information regarding this action can be obtained from project manager, Mike Dechter at

The proposed project is an activity implementing a land management plan and not authorized under the HFRA and is subject to 36 CFR 218 Subparts A and B.

How to Comment and Timeframe

Specific written comments (§218.2) on the proposed project will be accepted for 30 calendar days following publication of a legal notice in the Arizona Daily Sun, which is anticipated for December 15, 2021. If the comment period ends on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, comments will be accepted until the end of the next Federal working day. The publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period. Those wishing to comment should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source.

Only individuals or entities (as defined by 36 CFR 218.2) who submit timely and specific written comments (as defined by 36 CFR 218.2) about this proposed project or activity during this or another public comment period established by the Responsible Official will be eligible to file an objection. Other requirements to be eligible to submit an objection are defined by 36 CFR 218.25 (a)(3) and include name, postal address, title of the project and signature or other verification of identity upon request and the identity of the individual or entity who authored the comments. Individual members of an entity must submit their own individual comments in order to have eligibility to object as an individual. A timely submission will be determined as outlined in 36 CFR 218.25 (a)(4). It is the responsibility of the sender to ensure timely receipt of any comments submitted. Names and contact information submitted with comments will become part of the public record and may be released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Comments should be within the scope of the proposed action, have a direct relationship to the proposed action, and must include supporting reasons for the Responsible Official to consider (36 CFR 218.2).

Written comments may be submitted by email to,; or via mail to Coconino National Forest, 1824 S Thompson St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001. Electronic comments may be submitted in Word (.doc or .docx), rich text format (.rtf), text (.txt), portable document format (.pdf), or HyperText Markup Language (.html). Names, addresses, and other submitted materials by commenters will become part of the public record and available for public inspection.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Weigh in on the Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan


Yavapai County 

Comprehensive Plan Update 2032


Join some of our Comprehensive Plan Committee Members in a discussion on the upcoming Comp Plan 2032. Along with Yavapai County Development Services staff to answer your additional questions on upcoming meetings, public participation and updates.
Date December 28th, 2021. Time: 4:06pm on:


“The PM Show” Call in and ask questions at 928-541-1016

Please visit our Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan website at for information on the 2032 Comprehensive Plan. 


December 9th BPRCC Meeting Highlights

 December 9th BPRCC Meeting

Public Agency Report:  Dr. Tina Redd, Dean of the Verde Valley for Yavapai College (YC), described her areas of responsibility including a focus on aligning the Strategic Vision with the needs of the Verde Valley.  After reviewing program offerings, she explained that practical applications are prioritized – such as the (pending) public cafe on the Sedona campus that will feature products made by students in the culinary courses. She reported that the YC Skilled Trades Center (STC) construction classes have been expanded to accommodate demand, and expansion of OLLI courses in Prescott and the VOC is being explored. She stated that the administration seeks to optimize current facilities before expanding.

The Q&A session included comments on the need for access to programs in NE Yavapai County. In answer to a comment about the commute burden between the VOC and West Sedona and other VV facilities, Dr. Redd explained that expansion is a function of class enrollment. A suggestion by President Camille Cox that YC collaborate with BPRCC to survey the community about educational interests was well received. Appreciation was expressed to Dr. Redd for her informative presentation.  

President’s Report  Camille complimented D3 County Supervisor Donna Michaels for being the first supervisor to participate with an entry in the annual Cottonwood Holiday Parade.  The theme of the float “We are the Verde Valley” was represented with a showing of district community leaders, including Mary Morris and Camille for the BPRCC. The parade route swelled with families enjoying the beautiful day and more than 60 parade entries. 

Call for 2022 Committee Members  The contributions of 44 committee members and liaisons during 2021 was recognized by the president. Volunteer opportunities for 2022 include website support (design update and posting), Planning & Zoning Committee (recorder for minutes, assist w/Zoom), membership (assemble handbook), Audit Committee, Nominating Committee, A/V Support (assist w/Zoom at monthly meetings and special forums). Dark-Sky, EPPiC and Community Plan Committees welcome additional members. Members of the community are encouraged to participate in committees: email your interest to

Bylaw revision to allow the President and VP to serve four consecutive one-year terms, making their possible length of service the same as the Secretary and Treasurer, was unanimously approved, effective immediately.  A new policy that details officer election procedures, was also unanimously approved. 

Strategic Planning and Leadership Development  A task force was proposed and unanimously approved to define a Purpose and Scope for a future committee.  Don Groves, Phil Feiner, Lenore Hemingway, Gwen Hanna, Duane Thompson and Mary Pope will comprise the task force.  

Nominating Committee  With the immediate effect of the bylaw revision permitting a third term for the President, Nominating Committee Chair Lenore Hemingway nominated Camille Cox for President for 2022. Camille was elected by unanimous and enthusiastic acclamation. 

P&Z  Committee  Chair Mary Morris announced that the December 17th P&Z meeting has been cancelled. The environmental assessment (EA) from the USFS on the APS 64kV powerline is expected December 15th.  A 30-day comment period follows.  The Council will respond to the USFS after the EA is published and notify the community via email and the website.  

Community Plan Committee  Chair Camille Cox reported that the Sonoran Institute accepted a Yavapai County team for their March 2022 workshop - AZ Growing Water Smart.  Dr. Marianne Langridge, BPRCC Community Plan Committee member will represent us on the team, along with Supervisor Donna Michaels, Supervisor Harry Oberg, county staff and members of the county’s Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee.  

Emergency Preparedness Planning Committee  Chair Gwen Hanna announced three new members – Mary Morris, Pat Murphy and Leslie Osborne. At the December 3rd committee meeting presentations were given on flood disaster (Camille Cox), general preparedness (Gwen Hanna), fire danger (Phil Feiner), and resources for pet/equestrian evacuation (Art Bertolina). Areas of overlap were identified and a draft site map will be created for information categorization and presentation.

Next Executive Board Meeting: Tuesday January 4th, 3pm, location TBD
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, January 13th, 9am, Zoom
Next P&Z Meeting: Friday January 21st at 10am, Zoom
Next EPPiC Meeting: Friday, January 7th at 2:00pm, location TBD

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

AGENDA December Meeting - December 9th

This is a public meeting, conducted via Zoom. If you'd like to attend, send an email with your full name and email address to

9:00 A.M. Thursday, December 9th, 2021 

Public Agency Reports
  • Dr. Tina Redd, Dean of the Verde Valley and District-Wide Dean of English, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Lifelong Learning, Yavapai College
Call to Order
  1. Roll Call – Mary Pope, Secretary
  2. President’s Report – Camille Cox, President
  3. Secretary’s Report – Mary Pope, Secretary
    1. Approve November minutes (previously distributed to reps/alternates)
    2. Changes to Membership and/or Representatives
  4. Treasurer’s Report – Patty Reski, Treasurer
    1. Current financial standing
  5. Unfinished Business 
    1. Call for 2022 Committee Members
    2. Discussion & VOTE - Proposed Bylaw Revision Article VI – Officers, Section 1 Consecutive Terms of Office of the President & Vice President
    3. Discussion & VOTE – Proposed Policy on Officer Election Procedures
  6. New Business 
    1. Strategic Plan & Leadership Development Task Force creation
  7. Committee and Other Reports
    1. Nominating, Lenore Hemingway
    2. P&Z, Mary Morris, Chair
    3. Community Plan, Camille Cox
    4. EPPiC, Gwen Hanna, Chair
    5. Dark-Sky, Kirk Smith Co-Chair
  8. Announcements 

Reminders: Next P&Z Meeting: Friday December 17th at 10am, Zoom
Next EB Meeting: Tues, January 4th, 3pm, location TBD
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, January 13th, 9am, Zoom

Supervisor Michaels' "We are the Verde Valley" Entry at the Cottonwood Holiday Parade

Thank you, Supervisor Donna Michaels for including the Big Park Council in your Cottonwood Holiday Parade entry. Thousands of Verde Valley residents turned out to enjoy more than 60 parade entries that cruised from the Verde Valley Fairgrounds to the end of Main Street.

President Camille Cox and P&Z Chair Mary Morris enjoyed getting to know other Verde Valley community leaders as we "floated" through Cottonwood. We ARE the Verde Valley!

BPRCC P&Z Chair Mary Morris, resident Al Fairchild, BPRCC President Camille Cox

BPRCC President Camille Cox, Sedona resident Cecy Gilbert, Verde Villages POA President Patti Greeneltch, Susie Fairchild District 3 Supervisor Community Outreach, Al Fairchild VOC resident, County P&Z Commissioner Charley Pitcher, Sedona resident Rhoda Pitcher.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Interview with Supervisor Donna Michaels

A local station recently interviewed our District 3 Supervisor, Donna Michaels.  In the interview she addresses many of the hot topics that impact the Big Park Region, and solution approaches.  Well worth your time.  Of key interest is what the County can and cannot do to help with protection of public lands, water and the value of community plans.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

November Meeting Highlights

Recommended Read on our Local Water Supply:  A recent article in The View entitled “Checking in on VOC Water Supplies” explains how the Colorado River water shortages will affect the Verde Valley and the VOC, and how the Supai Formation creates our local aquifer.  It emphasizes golf course water usage and notes that the Oak Creek Country Club golf course uses as much treated effluent water as is available, rather than rely solely on fresh well water. Reporter Scott Schumaker kindly provided a link to the article:

Covid Booster Shots:  For information on the locations and availability of COVID-19 vaccination shots and boosters, click the link below to go directly to Arizona Department of Health Services.  Information can be viewed as a map or in text format. 


President’s Report  Camille summarized a recent meeting with Supervisor Donna Michaels, highlighting Donna’s active policy initiatives to improve protection of public lands, including mitigating negative impacts of Off Highway Vehicles (OHV), homelessness and trash.  Camille also informed the Council that Supervisor Michaels is amenable to another public forum to discuss these issues with the Community, such as the one the Council hosted in June.  Camille thanked the Nominating Committee for its incredible outreach efforts to contact Representatives and other potential officer candidates.  She then noted that the official grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new VOC library branch was a wonderful event on an absolutely beautiful autumn day.  There are spaces within the library for meetings which may be reserved.  Camille suggested that people read the excellent article in the View on the current status of water supply for the VOC. Kevin O’Conner clarified that the water used by VOCA for its golf course is treated, although it is not drinkable.  VOCA re-uses as much water as they can for the golf course.   

Secretary’s Report  Mary Pope reported no changes to membership or member organizations.

Treasurer’s Report Patty Reski presented the Budget vs. Actual for October explaining the additional charge of $180 to the Sedona Chamber of Commerce ($150 annual dues and $30 initial processing fee). 

Unfinished Business

a. 2022 Annual Assessment (Dues):  An increase to $160 effective January 1st 2022 was discussed and approved by the required 2/3 vote of the Council.

b. 2022 Annual Budget was discussed and approved by majority vote of the Council.

c. 2022 Officer Candidates for Secretary & Treasurer:  In response to a question on the nominating process, Lenore Hemingway explained the research done by the committee and the selection criteria.  Timing and requirements for the published article in The Villager on candidates was also clarified.  After this discussion, Mary Pope and Patty Reski were elected Secretary and Treasurer respectively, by enthusiastic Council acclamation, for another one year term.  A 10-minute break was called by President Camille Cox for Council Representatives to respond to an electronic email ballot vote for the Vice President position. Candidates were Dave Norton and Duane Thompson.  The meeting reconvened and Duane Thompson declared winner. 

d. Call for Committee Members:  Camille announced 2022 opportunities to serve on BPRCC Committees.  Participation is open to Representatives, Alternates and members of the public.  Committees and volunteer opportunities are listed below.  For additional information email

i. Emergency Preparedness Plan Information Committee (EPPiC), meets monthly

ii. Planning & Zoning Committee, meets monthly unless there are no applications in process

iii. Community Plan Committee

iv. Website Support, volunteer position / not a committee

v. Meeting Support, volunteer position / not a committee

vi. Audit Committee, short assignment in each February

vii. 2023 Nominating Committee, short assignment Aug-Oct each year

New Business 

Camille reviewed the latest information on the Secret 7 Trails which is being promoted by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and the Forest Service via new trail maps.  The public comment period on the Secret 7 Trails was pre-COVID. It was apparently very low key as no-one at the meeting recalled seeing or hearing about it. The intent of the promotion is to redistribute hikers and bikers to lesser used trails. Increased bicycle traffic is already being noticed  on Jacks Canyon Road (which does not have bicycle lanes), illegal parking on Lee Mountain Road, and trespassing on and damage to private property, as hikers look to find short-cuts to get to the trails.  It was also noted that apps such as All Trails promote unapproved social trails as well as USFS approved trails. A suggestion was made to approach the Sheriff on parking and trespass issues.  In addition, it was observed that OHV’s are increasing along Verde Valley School Road with the resultant increased noise levels.  The Public Comment period on the USFS expanded transit system closes November 19th and all are urged to express their point of view directly to the USFS.  E-mail to (include “Trailhead Transit” in the subject line)

Committee and Other Reports

a. Nominating: Lenore Hemingway, Chair, reviewed a proposed Bylaw change (officially noticed prior to the meeting) to have all officers serve with the same term limit of four years. Currently, the President and Vice President are restricted to two consecutive one-year terms, and the Secretary and Treasurer are allowed to serve four consecutive one-year terms.  There was much discussion around the current unacceptable situation of the Council asking the President to continue to serve in an un-elected capacity; as well as the absence of a succession plan. Succession planning is the responsibility of the Council Representatives.  Increased participation on Council committees over the last two years was cited as extremely positive for future officer recruitment.  To be effective, an officer needs to know and understand the mission of the organization and its bylaws. It was agreed to address the current situation and future succession planning separately, as a practical process.  There will be a Council vote on the proposed bylaw revision in December. During the discussion, the positive direction the Council is heading under Camille’s direction was emphasized, and the importance of a succession plan to continue the momentum agreed.  A suggestion to re-establish the Bylaw Committee to look into succession planning was well received with volunteers including Phil Feiner, Lenore Hemingway, Don Groves, Gwen Hanna, Duane Thompson and Mary Pope stepping up.  The committee will be formally established at the December meeting and additional volunteers are welcome.

b. Planning & Zoning:  Mary Morris, Chair, noted that the USFS environmental assessment on the APS 64Kv Powerline has been postponed until the end of November.  The November 19th P&Z regular monthly meeting has been cancelled in the absence of any pending applications.

c.  Community Plan:  Camille reported that she attended the Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee meeting on Nov. 10th, and that there was a reset of the County’s approach.  An expert consultant is now working with the Advisory Committee, and is already showing her expertise in the legalities around community goals, highlighting pitfalls and alternatives to accomplish agreed upon goals.  A new respect for local community input was evident, with both Supervisor Donna Michaels and Supervisor Harry Oberg advocating the importance of bottom-up input.

d.  Emergency Preparedness (EPPiC):  Gwen Hanna, Co-Chair likened the gathering of information to the gathering of ingredients for a recipe.  Much needs to be done before the recipe is complete!  She noted that the committee was making good progress and has begun to divide the information into manageable categories such as Fire, Flood, Evacuation Routes, Snow, Power/Utility outages, Equestrian/Animal rescue, Human/Social dangers and General Emergency preparedness.  As these are defined further, information that has community-wide application can be organized. The committee has also begun to generate ideas on how to disseminate the information and keep it up to date, once it is complete.  Although Gwen is willing to continue as Co-Chair, she noted her increasing responsibilities elsewhere and the need for a more active co-chair administratively. Dave Norton agreed that with his own additional responsibilities, it would be better for another Co-Chair to replace him.  Gwen thanked Dave for stepping up initially so that the committee could be created and moved forward to this stage.  Mary Pope was recommended and unanimously approved by the Council as EPPiC Co-Chair.  

Mark your Calendar

Next Executive Board Meeting: Tuesday November 30th, 2pm, location TBD

Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, December 9th, 9am, Zoom

Next P&Z Meeting: Friday December 17th at 10am, Zoom

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Coconino National Forest proposes trailhead transit expansion


Coconino National Forest proposes trailhead transit expansion

The city of Sedona, in partnership with the Coconino National Forest, seeks to provide mass transit shuttle services at select trailheads located within the greater Sedona area to reduce traffic congestion, overflow parking in residential areas and improve pedestrian safety.

By doing so, the Coconino National Forest puts forth a public comment period and proposed action to allow for city of Sedona mass transit shuttle services to drop off at Dry Creek, Little Horse, Mescal, Cathedral Rock and Soldiers Pass trailheads. 

The city expects shuttle service to run year-round from trailhead shuttle exchange parking lots to service West Sedona and State Route 179 trailheads, between 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, beginning in March 2022. Additionally, it is being proposed that Cathedral Rock and Soldiers Pass public parking would be closed during shuttle operations to encourage the use of the shuttle and alternative transportation. Walk and bike-in access to these trailheads would remain during transit hours and public parking and recreation access would remain open at Dry Creek, Little Horse and Mescal trailhead parking lots.

A description of the proposed action, along with maps and other information, can be found online at the following link.

Traffic and congested parking during peak visitation are frequent complaints by Sedona residents and visitors. Popular trailheads are often beyond parking capacity. Parking demand then displaces visitors more than a half mile away into undesignated areas, surrounding neighborhoods and surface streets. This traffic pattern results in resource damage, adverse public safety and diminished residents’ quality of life.

Access to popular trailheads can be improved by utilizing alternative modes of transportation for visitors who would otherwise drive their own vehicles to trailheads. A proposed transit program, operated by the city of Sedona, would offer reliable transportation to and from popular trailheads.

“I believe this joint venture between the Red Rock Ranger District and the city of Sedona will help mitigate some of the traffic congestion problems people face at trailheads and also improve safety for pedestrians across the board,” said District Ranger Amy Tinderholt. “With how popular these trails have become, it will be vital to find long-term solutions such as this to allow for greater and safer access, while improving the experience for everyone in the area.”

“The city is working diligently to deploy a trailhead and microtransit shuttle system this coming spring and summer. In order to make the program a success, we believe considering trailhead parking closures during shuttle operational hours at our most popular destinations is critical. While there are still many operational details to iron out between now and March 2022, this consideration is necessary to incentivize both locals and residents to take trailhead shuttles, and to provide much needed relief to the cathedral and soldiers pass neighborhoods impacted by the current oversubscription of trailhead parking. This transit service will take cars off the road, reduce carbon emissions, and provide an easier option for those seeking to access these and other sought-after trailheads," said city of Sedona City Manager Karen Osburn.

Other points of the transit proposal include: 
  • Shuttles would operate on an approximate 15- to 45-minute frequency. 
  • Pedestrian and bicycle traffic is encouraged as an alternative transportation method. 
  • Shuttles may be increased during peak-use holidays and spring break months. 
  • To accommodate shuttle access at Cathedral Rock, a trailhead re-design would convert an existing pedestrian path to a motorized route that exits onto Back O’ Beyond Road. A new pedestrian path would be constructed. 
  • Trailhead modifications may include adding a designated shuttle stop, relocating parking stalls or closing select parking stalls during shuttle operations.

How to comment

The public is invited to provide input on the Red Rock Country Trailhead Transit and Parking Restrictions Project during a 30-day comment period from Oct. 20 to Nov. 19, 2021.
Provide written comments with “Trailhead Transit” in the subject line via:
  • E-mail:
  • Fax: (928) 203-7539
  • Regular mail: Red Rock Ranger District, Attention: Trailhead Transit, P.O. Box 20429, Sedona, AZ 86431
  • Hand delivered: Red Rock District Office at 8375 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ 86351 between the hours of 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekdays

For additional information, please contact Recreation Special Uses Permit Administrator Mark Goshorn at

For more details on the city’s transit program, go to or contact city of Sedona Transit Administrator Robert Weber at (928) 203-5086.

Monday, October 18, 2021



Public Agency Report  Paul Amadio, Head of School for the Verde Valley School (VVS), updated the Council on the history and vision of the institution. He reported that none of the 300-acre property is currently for sale. The international college prep boarding high school has 125 students from around the world, comprised of 35 local day students and 90 boarding. The school strives to serve as an example of sustainable practices and programs for its staff, students and the community.  
Many years back, VVS partnered with Camp Soaring Eagle to develop a portion of the property as a camp for terminally ill children. That project never came to fruition.  As a result, VVS holds two Conditional Use Permits from the county – one for the school and a second for the camp. Yavapai County is now encouraging the school to apply for updated permits to accommodate the institution’s intended usage for the next ten years. Paul described some new uses that VVS envisions: a farm for educational and commercial production; updating unfinished buildings and partnership programs. Specific ideas being explored include: creation of natural walking and bicycle trails; an arboretum; development of stand-alone, off-grid accommodations for guests and staff; restoration of native vegetation; and projects to decrease the carbon footprint of the campus. 
He stressed keeping the land pristine and honoring the native peoples who once inhabited the land.  

New Business  In follow-up to September meeting suggestion, Council Representative KC Kinsey and Candace Strauss, president/CEO of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, explained how BPRCC membership in the Chamber could bring value to the community.  As both a resident and general manager of the Hilton Hotel, KC was able to share a dual perspective - emphasizing that membership would grant BPRCC a seat at the table in discussions that impact the Greater Sedona area, including the VOC. Candace emphasized that the chamber serves the greater Verde Valley area, not just businesses located in Sedona proper. She noted that the Council’s participation at the last Pulse event was well received and the chamber wants to hear more from the VOC.  A non-profit annual membership is $150 and runs 12-months. Two Representatives offered to fund a portion of the cost. 
Candace explained that the chamber is currently focused on education that encourages visitors to recreate responsibly. She mentioned the Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) concerns and the upcoming Sedona City Council meeting at which these would be addressed. Several council representatives noted that they were chamber members and found participation to be highly valuable. It was moved and unanimously passed for the BPRCC to become a member. 

President’s Report  Camille presented a State of the Council report, beginning with a flashback to January 2020 and input she received from one-on-one discussions with 21 member representatives.  She summarized how well the Council has delivered during the past two years on the requested actions. Value has been delivered in the expansion of authentic community input to the County via polls, surveys and open discussions.  Information is being shared publicly via articles in the Villager, the View and the Arizona Republic.  She outlined the research done by the Council on community issues such as the APS powerline, Emergency preparedness, bylaws update, and COVID health and safety information, noting that the Council coordinated and promoted two community vaccination clinics. Timely information from the County to the VOC regarding development has been done for all zoning applications such as the Village Veterinary Hospital, Art & Craft Tent Shows, Horse Mesa Ranch and the proposed AT&T 5G tower. Camille mentioned that relationships with County personnel have improved significantly and a new evaluation system for providing guidance to the County has been well received. BPRCC meetings are now modeled on a code of conduct. The public has been engaged and transparency improved via local media, open meetings, published highlights and website postings.  Lastly, she noted that a formal Dark-Sky Committee was created and has grown to nine active members. 
Summarizing big improvements in communication, she outlined the evolution of meeting effectiveness beginning with a borrowed PA system that enabled improved exchange of information and discussion. She emphasized the improvements made in the quality and frequency of email notifications, with a remarkably steady subscriber list of approximately five hundred. The Council has made significant headway with local media relations.
She emphasized that most of the challenges identified by the community are regional in nature, not specific to the VOC, and stressed the importance of connection, engagement and collaboration with neighboring Verde Valley communities.

Future Meeting Format Survey  Secretary Mary Pope then summarized results of a survey of representatives and alternates on future meeting formats.  Nineteen of 26 member organizations responded. This survey was a starting point for deciding how and when to resume in-person meeting. Results reflected that health and travel concerns among the membership prohibit a return to in-person only meetings at this time. Sentiment on various advantages and disadvantages of in-person and/or virtual meetings (or a hybrid combination) were weighed, and some of the technology challenges were described. The secretary suggested that a new task force be formed to research and provide the council with options. 

Camille then outlined the situation by presenting a high-level overview of the costs and capabilities (known and unknown) of local venues, and their ability to support a hybrid meeting format. She asked the Council to consider what it will take to sustain our momentum in coming years, including financial resources and leadership. 

Secretary’s Report  Mary Pope reported no changes to membership and that Duane Thompson, chair of the APS subcommittee, was appointed as an alternate representative for the Sedona Golf Resort HOA.
Treasurer’s Report  Patty Reski presented the Budget vs. Actual for September explaining that the $575 in miscellaneous income was primarily a meeting room refund and would not be repeated in the future. She noted that the current bank balance can be misleading as more than 50% is held in reserve for potential insurance deductible. Patty then presented the proposed 2022 budget, complimenting the hard work and research done by the budget committee.  An increase in dues will be necessary as costs are increasing with communication and meeting requirements. She emphasized that the committee has taken a “skinny” approach, keeping proposed increases to a bare minimum. Patty offered to provide additional detail to representatives if they call or email her.  The proposed 2022 budget will be discussed in November and requires a 2/3 council approval to increase dues in excess of 10%.  After the dues vote, the budget itself requires a majority vote to pass. 

Nominating Committee Chair Lenore Hemingway spoke on behalf of the committee (Paul Sullivan, Joe Skidmore and Gwen Hanna). She explained their process and the efforts made to communicate with potential candidates. The committee’s nominees are: Patty Reski to continue as treasurer, Mary Pope to continue as secretary, and Duane Thompson for vice president.  Despite their efforts, the committee was unable to recruit a candidate for President.
BPRCC bylaws call for current officers to continue to serve until a replacement is elected. Concerns were raised that this new (June 2021) bylaw requirement was not intended to have an officer serve for an additional term. It was intended to provide continuity until a new officer was elected. There was much discussion about continuing the effort to find a presidential candidate.  Although the bylaws require that nominations be closed at the end of the October meeting, Camille may resign and a later presidential election held, if a candidate is identified. 

The president then asked for nominations from the floor.  Dave Norton nominated himself for vice president. With two candidates for vice president, a motion was passed for an anonymous vote via electronic ballot at the November meeting.  The electronic ballot format used by BPRCC meets all of the requirements of ARS 10-3708 entitled “Action by written ballot, online voting” and a permanent record is kept of each vote.  Nominations were then officially closed.

Planning & Zoning Committee  Chair Mary Morris noted that the Use Permit for Horse Mesa Ranch was approved by the county, and that the environmental assessment from the USFS on the APS powerline has been postponed to mid-November.

Community Plan Committee  Camille reported that the committee continues to work on finalizing documents.

Emergency Preparedness (EPPiC) Committee Mary Pope reported for Chair Gwen Hanna. Committee members are gathering available information and documents. The committee will review that content before their next meeting as a means of gaining further clarity as the possible ways to create a public resource/depository.  Committee member Bert Tibbet, who passed recently, was memorialized.  Quoting Gwen, “There are certain people who are in our lives for but a moment, but in that moment touch us deeply. Bert was one of those people for me. I hope EPPiC will do him proud.” 

Verde Valley Transportion Planning Organization (VVTPO)  Steve Fiedler noted that monsoon storm clean-up is ongoing. He also noted that SR-179 and Cornville Road improvements continue. The county is working on the SR-179/Beaver Head Flat intersection.  Steve also noted that the RRREMD (Red Rock Road Enhancement Maintenance District) is looking into addressing drainage issues on SR-179, and a bench that was hit by a car will be replaced.

Mark your Calendar
Next P&Z Meeting: Friday November 19th at 10am, Zoom
Next EB Meeting: Tuesday November 2nd, 2pm, location TBD
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, November 11th, 9am, Zoom

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Agenda - October Meeting of the Council

9:00 A.M. Thursday, October 14th, 2021

ZOOM Meeting
The ZOOM Waiting Room opens at 8:30am.  Each attendee will need to check in prior to the 9:00am start time.  Please arrive early so you can be checked in by the host.  See meeting protocols for rules pertaining to this meeting.

Public Agency Reports 
  • Head of School, Verde Valley School – Paul Amadio
 Call to Order
  1. Roll Call – Mary Pope, Secretary
  2. President’s Report – Camille Cox, President
    1. State of the Council
    2. Future meeting format
  3. Secretary’s Report – Mary Pope, Secretary
    1. Approve September minutes (previously distributed to reps/alternates)
    2. Changes to Membership and/or Representatives
  4. Treasurer’s Report – Patty Reski, Treasurer
    1. Current financial standing
    2. Review of proposed 2022 Annual Budget
  5. New Business
    1. Sedona Chamber of Commerce, possible membership for BPRCC
  6. Committee and Other Reports
    1. Nominating, Lenore Hemingway
      • Presentation of 2022 Officer Candidates
    2. P&Z Committee, Mary Morris, Chair
      • Horse Mesa Ranch Use Permit BOS Decision
    3. Community Plan, TBD Committee Member
    4. EPPiC, Gwen Hanna, Chair
    5. VVTPO, Steve Fiedler, Liaison
  7. Announcements
    • Fill the Need, Kathy Wozniak, President, Board of Directors 
    • Sedona Village Learning Center "Booook Bash" -  Saturday, Oct. 30, 10a-12p , Joanna McPherson
    • Sustainability Alliance "How to Live a River Friendly Life" - Thursday, Oct 21 10-11:30am, Zoom, Kegn Marissa Moorcroft 
    • Library Update - Carolyn Fisher
  8.  Adjourn
Next P&Z Meeting: There will be no meeting in October
Next EB Meeting: Tuesday November 2nd, 2pm, location TBD
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, November 11th, 9am, Zoom

Monday, October 4, 2021

2021 Dark-Sky Community Annual Report

 The Big Park-VOC Dark-Sky Committee has completed and submitted the required IDA Annual Report.  Click on the image to view and/or download the report.

Sunday, September 12, 2021


Community News & Announcements

* 7th Annual VOC Community BBQ: September 18th, 12-4pm.  Rumor has it that Rocky Road Ice Cream will be creating a new flavor for this FREE event at VOCA Park 690 Bell Rock Blvd. Come join the fun!

* Hazardous Waste Collection for Residents: October 2nd, 8am-12pm.  The City of Sedona and Yavapai County are hosting a Hazardous Waste and Electronic Collection event at Sedona City Hall, 102 Roadrunner Dr.  Be prepared to show a driver's license and one utility bill for proof of residence in unincorporated Yavapai County. More specifics on what can be accepted on this link: Information on Hazardous Waste Collection Event.

* Horse Mesa Ranch Final Hearing:  September 15th, 9:00am. The Board of Supervisors will make the final decision on the use permit for Horse Mesa Ranch. Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Hearing, Cottonwood County Annex Building, 10 S. 6th St., Cottonwood. Now that the county building has re-opened to the public, NO virtual testimony will be heard. Information on the meeting agenda on this link: Sept 15 Board of Supervisors Agenda.


Public Agency Report  Randy Hawley, president of the Sedona Oak Creek United School District (SOCUSD), summarized the district's efforts related to COVID-19 challenges.  The district has updated their COVID Mitigation Plan to include optional mask-wearing for students and staff at this time, and they continue to follow the guidance of Yavapai Community Health Services.  A new air-filtration system has been installed and surfaces are cleaned daily.  Lessons are recorded for students to review after class, which has been well received.  For the first time in a number of years the student census has increased - up 75 students from last year.  Donations from the community have made possible a free after-school program called Wildcats Kids Club. Sedona High students can now earn college credit through Dual Enrollment courses in partnership with Yavapai College, College Board Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and Valley Academy of Career and Technical Education (VACTE) central campus offerings.  The school board has added a student representative member. Bookings for the Sedona Performing Arts Center are increasing. The library space at the Big Park Community School in the Village has been leased to the Sedona Public Library with an anticipated opening date of November 1st.  During the Q&A period, a request was made for a student volunteer to assist BPRCC with audio-visual support for hybrid meetings.  Randy said he'd investigate the possibilities.  

President’s Report  Camille Cox highlighted some of the most VOC-relevant data shared at the August 25th Sedona Community Pulse event. Participating in the event was the City of Sedona, the US Forest Service, Northern AZ Healthcare, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, and the Big Park Council.  2020 census date revealed that the population of the VOC/Big Park Region is 6,128 compared to the City of Sedona is 9,684.  Both areas show declining resident population, but as of July there are 1,339 short term rental units in the greater Sedona area (excluding commercial properties, timeshares, B&B's and hotels).  In one month (June-July 2021) there was a 7% increase in STR's in Sedona alone.  The City's Sedona In Motion (SIM) project reported that from 2020 tp 2021 the number of days where travel time from Bell Rock Blvd to the "Y" exceeded 30 minutes increased by 65% - from 25 to 38 days.  She highlighted a few of SIM's short- and long-range plans for trailhead transportation, recommending that the Council become pro-active to have the voice of Big Park included in these planning discussions.  A suggestion was made by a Council representative that BPRCC join the Sedona Chamber of Commerce for greater involvement, which was well-received and will be explored further.  Camille then reviewed key points presented by the Red Rock Ranger District (USFS), emphasizing their efforts to mitigate the destructive impacts of OHV's (Off Highway Vehicles).  District 3 County Supervisor Donna Michaels has taken a leadership role in collaborative solution-seeking with the County, the Chamber of Commerce, the USFS and the City of Sedona.  View graphics and photos from this presentation (PDF).

Secretary’s Report  Mary Pope reported that there were no changes to Member Organizations or Representatives. 

Treasurer’s Report  Patty Reski explained that a year-to-year comparison (2020/2021) is difficult because there were extraordinary expenses in 2020 and a significant meeting room refund in 2021. Current Zoom expenses have been reduced as the need for concurrent meetings diminished, while email expenses are higher due to increased communication with the community.  She noted that the Dark-Sky and Community Plan committees are self-funding (no impact to Council operating budget), and the consultant retained for the APS Powerline subcommittee's research was also funded by a committee member. Patty recommended that a Budget Committee of Neil Pope, Phil Cox and Carolyn Fisher be appointed; which was approved by the Council. 

New Business  Camille welcomed Janet Aniol, president of the Beaver Creek Community Association (BCCA).  Janet explained the dangerous situation on I-17 Exit 293, the sole entry/exit to the Beaver Creek community of approximately 5,000 residents.  She reviewed their 35-year effort to have this situation remedied, noting that for most of this time, these much needed improvements have been on the State's 5-year plan.  She asked that the BPRCC send a letter to the State supporting the BCCA and other neighboring communities who are requesting that the improvements be prioritized. ADOT studies agree that the intersection is dangerous, confusing and frustrating.  Although not geographically in Big Park, our community is greatly impacted by the situation.  A motion was passed that the Executive Board send a letter on behalf of the Council to the Arizona Department of Transportation supporting the urgent need for improvement to the exchange at Exit 293.  View graphics and photos from this presentation (PDF).

Planning & Zoning  In the absence of Chair Mary Morris, Camille reviewed proceedings of the September 3rd committee Zoom meeting. A proposal by AT&T for a new 5G antenna installation was reviewed.  Four committee members, one advisor, the APS Powerline subcommittee chair, and 11 community members were present.  Presenting on behalf of AT&T was Mr. Steve Olson with Bechtel Infrastructure and Power Corporation.  The applicant has been pro-active and helpful providing illustrative graphics and information to the committee, which were shared with the public. They are proposing to install the antenna on a newly constructed tower on SR179, across from The Collective, on property owned by the Las Piedras Homeowners Association. 

Community concerns that were expressed at the committee meeting included marring the viewshed at the gateway to the Village and health risks of 5G. Many letters of concern from community members have been received by the Council prior to and since the meeting. A strongly held value among the citizens is preservation of the Red Rock vistas, not just for residents but for visitors and future generations.  The committee's focus is exploring creative and collaborative solutions that support robust utility infrastructure without sacrificing the magnificent, inspiring views.

The committee postponed making recommendations on the proposal in light of the incomplete application and alternative locations under consideration. They will continue to review community concerns and present them as the review process continues. (email  Documents related to this project can be viewed/downloaded from the Council website (link to folder).

APS Subcommittee  The Environmental Assessment from the USFS, scheduled for August release, is still pending. 

Community Plan  Camille reported that the committee members are working to finalize the reports and are on target to present to the public at the end of September.

Emergency Preparedness Plan Committee (EPPiC)  Dave Norton reported that the committee met, finalized its membership and set up a standing meeting date of the Friday afternoon before each regular BPRCC meeting.  As specific assignments are identified, the committee will reach out to members of the community for help. 

Nominating Committee  Joe Skidmore spoke on behalf of the committee noting that they'd met August 18th and in addition to personal contacts, an item was included in the VOCA newsletter and a separate email went out to all on the BPRCC general mailing list (234 opens).  He said that the committee was pleased that Mary Pope and Patty Reski agreed to run again for Secretary and Treasurer respectively and that there were a couple of potential candidates for Vice President.   They are still searching for a Presidential candidate as Camille has served her second term and cannot run for a third consecutive term per the by-laws.  In discussion it was clarified that Camille will remain on the Executive Board as immediate Past-president, and that a new President would have an experienced supportive team already in place.  

The next meeting of the Council is October 14th, 9am via ZOOM

The next meeting of the Executive Board is October 5th, 2pm

The next meeting of the P&Z Committee is October 15th, 10am via ZOOM

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Minutes of the 9-3-2021 Special Meeting of the P&Z Committee

On Friday, September 3, the P&Z Committee held a public meeting via Zoom to review a proposal by AT&T for a 5G antenna installation. Four committee members, one advisor, the APS Powerline subcommittee chair and 11 community members were present.

Mr. Steve Olson with Bechtel Infrastructure and Power Corporation (Mesa, AZ), presented on behalf of AT&T (applicant).  The applicant has been pro-active and helpful providing illustrative graphics and information to the committee, which were shared with the public.

The applicant is proposing to install the antenna on a newly constructed tower on SR179, across from The Collective, on property owned by the Las Piedras Homeowners Association.
The committee agreed to postpone making recommendations on the proposal in light of the incomplete application to the County.

Community concerns that were expressed at the meeting included marring the viewshed at the gateway to the Village and health risks of 5G. Many letters of concern from community members have been received by the Council prior to and since the meeting. The committee is will continue to review community concerns and present them as the review process continues.  (email

A strongly held value among the citizenry of the Big Park Region is preservation of the Red Rock vistas, not just for our residents but for visitors who come from around the globe, and for future generations.  The committee is focused on pursuing creative and collaborative solutions that support robust utility infrastructure without sacrificing the magnificent, inspiring views.

Meeting Minutes: PDF Download

Meeting Slide Deck BPRDD: PDF Download

AT&T (Bechtel Engineering, Steve Olson) Meeting Presentation: PDF Download

AT&T Project Narrative: PDF Download

AT&T APS Photosim Rev 2: PDF Download

AT&T Coverage Prediction Maps: PDF Download

AT&T Las Piedras Concept Plans: PDF Download

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Sept 9th Regular Meeting Agenda

If you'd like to attend this meeting, send an email with your full name and email address to


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Special Meeting of the Planning & Zoning Committee

A meeting has been called at an irregular time this month in order to provide the 

Council with recommendations on an application that may come before County 

Planning & Zoning Commission in September.  We anticipate the committee 

recommendations will be presented for discussion and vote before the Council at 

the regular meeting on September 9th. 


The committee meeting is being held via Zoom and is open to the public.  If you'd 

like to attend, send an email to with your full name and 

email address. 


Information on the application under consideration is provided with this 

message.  You may submit questions in advance of the meeting by replying to this 





Friday Sept 3rd, 2021  2:00 PM via Zoom

1. Welcome

2. Roll Call

3. Approve/Amend Agenda

4. Unfinished Business / Active Efforts

           a. Las Piedras/AT&T 5G Antenna Installation

5. New Business

6. Announcements

7. Public Comments

8. Adjourn 


AT&T Las Piedras Project Narrative. PDF 

AT&T APS Las Piedras Concept Plans. PDF 

AT&T APS Las Piedras Photosim. PDF 

AT&T Coverage Prediction Maps. PDF

Zoom Participation for Public Audience: 

First and last name must be provided when signing in to the Zoom meeting.

* Arrive/check-in to the Zoom Waiting Room no less than 5 minutes prior to the 2pm start to be 

admitted to the online meeting.

* If not a member of the Planning & Zoning Committee, please turn off your video.  Stay muted until 

recognized to speak by the Chair. If time allows, questions and comments may be entertained at the 

Chairman’s discretion. Use the hand-raise function to be noticed.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Big Park Council Presents at Sedona Chamber Pulse Event

View the event on YouTube: Link to Pulse Event RecordingOur presentation is 1:34 on the timeline.

Slide deck for all presenters   Aug 2021 Pulse Community Event

Village Census Numbers Reveal Change, Not Growth

Village Census Numbers Reveal Change, Not Growth

by Camille Cox, President
Published in the Sept issue of The Villager

A few days ago the 2020 US census data, detailing to the community level, was finally released. It may have come as a surprise to many that the Village of Oak Creek showed no growth, in fact a slight decrease! Sedona resident counts were down by 350, and the entire Verde Valley reported only 3,000 increase – 650 of which was recorded by the Yavapai Apache Nation.

These numbers provide an important context for our community, as we look to the future. I hope you will take a few minutes to study the data, and consider what it reveals about the shifts in the fabric of our community and the greater Verde Valley region.  With the surge in housing values during the last nine months, it’s probable that the resident populations in both the VOC and Sedona have diminished further.

The Community Plan Committee is currently compiling and packaging its draft reports for public review and comment. Please be on the lookout in late September for announcements. Your participation is a critical part of the process! (subscribe to our mailing list at

We’re pleased to report that the Council approved the creation of the new Emergency Preparedness Plan Committee (EPPiC) whose purpose is to create a Disaster Resource Repository to provide the information needed in a Big Park Community emergency. Specifically:

* To identify, monitor and provide information resources on emergencies affecting the Big Park Community;

* To explore communication channels to assure that the Big Park Community has access to timely, accurate information;

* To coordinate information with appropriate public safety agencies;

* To explore ways to improve response to an emergency situation.

This new committee is a great opportunity to play a part in making our community as safe as possible in the event of natural or other emergency. If you’re interested in learning more or possibly being part of this group, send an email to