Open Letter to Ron Volkman
You have been extremely vocal in your opposition towards the designation of a National Scenic Area for the lands around Sedona. You protest the NSA, and I think that you doth protest too much! I am wondering WHY you are so vehemently against a designation that would help our businesses, boost our economy, and help more people become employed. In addition, as one of only eight locations in the country awarded this prestigious designation, imagine our pride in protecting its irreplaceable beauty…and shame for not doing so! I’ve looked at the websites of the other NSAs and find overwhelming support in those communities for many reasons. So again, why are you so against this?
You say that Amendment 12, protecting our forest area, cannot be changed. You know very well that it is vulnerable as long as there are development pressures in the West and the changing opinions of our leadership both here and in Washington. You mentioned that the current City Council voted 4 to 2 against the NSA, but you did not mention that SEVERAL previous City Councils, County Boards of Supervisors, and the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council voted overwhelmingly to support it. Did you not know that, or did you just not want the citizens to know? Perhaps the current City Council is not as enlightened as those in the past were.
Do you not think that the Sedona area deserves the National Scenic Area designation? We are all blessed to live in one of the most beautiful places in America. That means we have lots of visitors, and our local businesses depend on those visitors for their livelihood! Our environment IS our product. The only people who are against it, it seems, are those who quietly hope to someday profit by selling parts of it to commercial interests. Mr. Volkman, you are a Realtor. Is this your real reason for opposing this designation??? Many enlightened Realtors strongly support the NSA, knowing that preserving these lands permanently, without the black cloud of future development is the one thing that can save our quality of life, maintain our property values and keep our economy healthy…forever.
Willard R. Simpson, 30 Steamboat Rock Road, Village of Oak Creek
Editor comment: Ron Volkman’s article may be read on eMag LIVE! Sedona Times web Home Page, Jan 28th edition.