Coconino County has a wealth of natural resources — in agricultural and range lands, grasslands and forests — that could support sustainable economic development while helping to restore natural systems.
The Resource Based Industries Team is currently concentrating on developing collaborations that will help to identify and value the ecosystem services provided by the conservation efforts of major landscape-scale property owners as a way of enabling those stewards to remain on the land and continue making their contributions to local communities and environmental sustainability.
The Goal of this effort is to create economically viable, resource-based opportunities to support a thriving local / regional economy while maintaining stewardship of natural resources. This team:
- Encourages and promote the development and expansion of sustainable wood based industries in the area, including the production of electricity and steam that use all wood products (saw timber, round wood, biomass). This includes pinyon pine and juniper as well as ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir.
- Supports the establishment of long-term, large land management agency contracts to appropriately treat Northern Arizona forests and woodlands. Long-term contracts are a critical element in the creation and retention of a durable wood products based industry.
- Supports the establishment of viable, sustainable niche markets for specialty woods and products.
- Promotes the concept of healthy forests.
- Supports the creation of jobs with wages and benefits that provide adequately for families and contribute to community.
- Explores opportunities for acquiring conservation easements.
- Supports legislation that will enable exchanges between federal and state lands for the protection of open space.
- Develops and adopt a Coconino County Transfer of Development Rights Ordinance.
- Explores opportunities in Natural Heritage Area initiatives.
- Supports and seek to remove barriers to sustainable agriculture efforts.
- Supports a process by which the economic value of healthy watersheds is determined.
- Implements a market-based approach for large-scale watershed restoration.
- Encourages best-use practices and technologies for the use of reclaimed water and for water conservation.