1. The Verde River and its tributaries are a regional, state, and national treasure. The river and humans within its watershed are inextricably interconnected. The river is socially, economically, environmentally, and culturally important.
  2. The Verde River provides a lush corridor that stretches from Paulden through the communities of Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Yavapai-Apache Nation, Camp Verde and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation before it makes its way to Phoenix. Its tributaries, one of its largest being Oak Creek, ow through the communities of Sedona, Page Springs and Cornville. The Verde is one of the very few remaining perennial rivers in Arizona, and flows from its source for about 137 miles before reaching Horseshoe Reservoir.
  3. The Verde River and its springs are essential to the cultures and traditions of many native peoples from the ancient Sinagua and Hohokam peoples to present day Yavapai, Hopi, Apache, Zuni, and other tribes. Numerous archaeological sites spanning many hundreds of years can be found along its length.
  4. The Verde and its tributaries provide a unique home for 60% of the vertebrates in the watershed, including river otter, bald eagle, and many species of native fish. Roughly 10 percent of Arizona’s remaining Fremont Cottonwood/Goodding Willow habitat, the rarest forest- type in North America, can be found along the Verde.
  5. The Verde and its tributaries, seeps, and springs, supports an amazing diversity of wildlife; 270 species of birds, 94 species of mammals, and 76 species of native amphibians and reptiles use the Verde River watershed at some point in their life cycles.
  6. Groundwater and surface water are interconnected and affect each other; groundwater depletion ultimately depletes surface flows and surface water depletion can potentially impact groundwater recharge.
  7. Climate and drought have an impact on the Verde River, including the amount of water available for riparian habitat, wildlife, and human use.
  8. The river connects numerous parks, preserves, national forests, and monuments totaling more than half a million contiguous protected acres and includes Arizona’s only two Wild and Scenic River designations, Fossil Creek and the Verde River below Camp Verde.
  9. The Verde watershed provides water for communities from the Prescott area to the Verde Valley and on to Phoenix—about 40 percent of the surface water delivered by the Salt River Project to Metropolitan Phoenix comes from the Verde.
  10. Recent studies indicate that much of the Verde Valley’s overall economy is directly tied to the Verde River, and the perception of the region as being “wet” and “green.” The local economy is bolstered by river-connected recreation and tourism industries valued at $87.5 million, the wine industry valued at $6 million and the agriculture irrigated by diverted stream flow valued at $24 million.

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Verde River - Norton and Bitz