The U.S. Forest Service has purchased the last parcel of private land along Fossil Creek in central Arizona. It’s one of only two “Wild and Scenic Rivers” in the state. The purchase means the Forest Service can now manage the entire river corridor.
Fossil Creek is a spring-fed stream known for its rare travertine pools. It’s one of few free-flowing rivers in Arizona and home to many endangered species.
The Coconino National Forest purchased a 19-acre parcel bordering the creek from the Western Rivers Conservancy. The Portland-based nonprofit bought it from a private landowner last year to protect it from development.
Congress designated the creek as “Wild and Scenic” in 2009 after a historic dam decommissioning. The Forest Service is now developing a comprehensive plan to manage it for wildlife, water quality and recreation.