Flagstaff, AZ – Advocates of a national scenic area in Sedona have been pushing for legislation for more than a decade. They want to protect about 160 thousand acres of land in the Coconino National Forest surrounding Sedona from possible future development. A national scenic area would prevent possible future land trades between the US Forest Service and private developers.
The bill has been championed by northern Arizona representative Ann Kirkpatrick. Today she blasted Republicans for voting against the bill, which she says will create jobs by promoting tourism.
"It's unbelievable to me, that partisan bickering in Washington, not in Sedona, will stop a job creation bill."
Opponents of the legislation said the designation was unnecessary and would have meant a loss of local control. The bill actually received 258 votes, with only 160 voting against it. But because of procedural rules the legislation needed a two-thirds vote to pass. The House also voted down a separate measure that would have expanded the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument east of Phoenix.