The highest percentage of land in the Verde River basin is under federal management, and these public lands play a significant role in sustaining the watershed values and flows in the Verde River. Federal land use decision making has a substantial impact on watershed health, with management activities ranging from forest health restoration efforts to recreational activities and amenity development. Federal land acquisition and disposition – including exchanges – can also have an impact on land management and watershed values, even though such transactions have been relatively limited in the Verde River watershed. The Verde Land & Water Planning Toolbox would not be complete without consideration of the impact of management decisions related to federal lands on the Verde River.
There are a number of federal land management entities responsible for managing land and protecting public resources in the Verde River watershed. A description of these federal entities can be found here, along with information about the lands managed and the responsibilities of each agency.
Federal land management priorities that can affect watershed health are developed through a range of processes that are open to participation and comment by adjacent and nearby communities and the interested public. These planning processes and initiatives, as well as opportunities for community and public input, are described here.