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Riparian Area Protections Implemented

Posted May 15, 2019

From the Tonto National Forest website

Payson — The USDA Forest Service, Tonto National Forest, Payson Ranger District have announced overnight camping restrictions along six stretches of streams and rivers located near Payson.  Implementation of these restrictions will help allow grass and plants to grow along the stream banks.  The roots from these plants hold the soil in place, prevent erosion, and keep soil from washing into the streams which will improve the riparian condition.

“Riparian areas are rare in the desert southwest, and we are working to protect these fragile stream banks, while continuing to allow for summer fun,” said Jeremy Plain, Acting District Ranger at Payson.  “The Tonto National Forest is working hard to protect the streams and rivers for enjoyment now and in the future”.  These restrictions will not affect day use, or scenic driving along the road corridors, only overnight camping within a 200-foot buffer on either side of the following streams:

The decision to include overnight camping restrictions along these stretches of stream was taken after several years of public involvement and environmental analysis to determine effects of the proposal.  The decision was signed in fall of 2018, and these overnight camping restrictions within 200 feet on either side of the above stream corridors were implemented on April 22, 2019.  Vehicles will be allowed to park at designated pull-outs and trailhead or end of road parking areas.

As a reminder, First, Second and Third Crossings along with Water Wheel recreation sites on the East Verde River will remain day-use only. For additional details and questions, please contact the Payson Ranger District at (928) 474-7900 during business hours.