Representative Ann Kirkpatrick today successfully pushed her legislation to designate the Red Rock lands around Sedona a National Scenic Area through the House Committee on Natural Resources. The Sedona-Red Rock National Scenic Area Act, which passed with strong support thanks to her efforts, would strengthen the tourism industry and bring new jobs to the region while conserving the natural beauty of this Greater Arizona attraction without a significant investment of federal dollars.
The passage of this bill through committee is the culmination of years of legislative work, which Rep. Kirkpatrick began before she came to Congress. H.R. 4823 can now be considered by the full House of Representatives, moving significantly closer to ensuring the local economy will be able to benefit from more visitors and that future generations will be able to experience this unique treasure.
"This is a major step forward for this bill and an exciting day for Greater Arizona," Rep. Kirkpatrick said after the vote. "The Red Rocks are a breathtaking and truly unforgettable site for everyone who experiences Sedona. This legislation will preserve the majesty of these lands for years to come and create new jobs for folks here without great expense to the taxpayer. It is the sort of low-cost opportunity we must take advantage of right now to get people back to work."
The Congresswoman has worked with a broad range of interested stakeholders to craft language that will best serve all involved. She received valuable comments and edits to the text of the measure from the United States Forest Service, Mayor Rob Adams and the Sedona City Council, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, the Sedona-Red Rock Scenic Area Coalition, the Sedona-Verde Valley Association of Realtors, small business owners and concerned citizens. She also pushed hard to make sure that Sedona's voices were heard in Congress, securing a hearing on the legislation before the Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands in June and bringing Mayor Adams to Washington to testify and discuss what it will mean for the Sedona area.
"This is a win-win for District One," said Rep. Kirkpatrick. "These features are the heart of Sedona's vital tourism industry. By working to protect them, we are helping to bolster our economic security during the downturn and support working families and area businesses who depend on the tourist dollars visitors generate.
"This bill reflects extensive feedback from the communities it will affect. The stakeholders' thoughts, suggestions and ideas have helped put together legislation that will work better for us now and in the future, and I am proud of the work we have done."
The Congresswoman is continuing to discuss the Sedona-Red Rock National Scenic Area Act of 2010 with these individuals and organizations as the legislative process moves forward. Now that H.R. 4823 has passed through committee, she will be working to keep the momentum going and earn support for it among Members of the entire House, and she will look to move it forward as fast as possible.