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Arizona Department of Water Resources AZ.gov Arizona's Official Web Site
Securing Arizona's Water Future
Land Ownership in the Verde River Basin

Land ownership, including the percentage of ownership by category, for the Verde River Basin is shown in Figure 5.5-2.  Principal features of land ownership in this basin are the large contiguous parcels of forest service lands and the relatively large portion of private land. A description of land ownership data sources and methods is found in Volume 1, Appendix A.  More detailed information on protected areas is found in Section 5.0.4.  Land ownership categories are discussed below in the order of largest to smallest percentage in the basin.

National Forest

  • 71.3% of the land is federally owned and managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS). 

  • Forest lands in the basin are part of the Prescott, Kaibab, Coconino and Tonto National Forests.

  • The basin contains approximately 434,000 acres in eleven wilderness areas.  The 57,916-acre Sycamore Canyon Wilderness is located in the Prescott, Kaibab and Coconino National Forests.  There are five Coconino National Forest wilderness areas and four Prescott National Forest wilderness areas. Most of the 250,053-acre Mazatzal Wilderness in the Tonto National Forest is located in the southern part of the basin.  (see Figure 5.0-13 and Table 5.0-3)

  • There are numerous small private in-holdings in all forests.

  • Land uses include recreation, grazing and timber production.

Private

  • 20.2% of the land is private.
  • The majority of the private land in the basin is in a checkerboard pattern in the northwestern portion of the basin.  There are also parcels of private land in the vicinity of Cottonwood, Camp Verde and Sedona.
  • Land uses include domestic, commercial, mining, farming and ranching.

Click to view Figure 5.5-2

Click to view Table 5.5-6 Verde River Basin Land Ownership

State Trust Land

  • 7.4% of the land in this basin is held in trust for the public schools and many other beneficiaries under the State Trust Land system.
  • The majority of state land is located in a checkerboard pattern in the northwestern portion of the basin interspersed with private lands.  State lands are also located in the vicinity of Clarkdale and south of the Navajo Army Depot.
  • Primary land use is grazing.

U.S. Military

  • 0.7% of the land is federally owned and operated by the U.S. Military as the Navajo Army Depot located in the vicinity of Bellemont in the northeastern portion of the basin.
  • Land uses include National Guard training and army equipment storage.

Indian Reservation

  • 0.2% of the land is under ownership of the Yavapai Apache Tribe.
  • Tribal lands are composed of five separate parcels located in the vicinity of Camp Verde.
  • Land uses include domestic and commercial.

National Park Service (NPS)

  • 0.1% of the land is federally owned and managed by the National Park Service as the Montezuma Castle National Monument located near Interstate 17 in the center of the basin.
  • Land uses include cultural preservation and recreation.

Other (Game and Fish, County and Bureau of Reclamation Lands)

  • 0.1% of the land is owned and managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department as the Upper Verde River Wildlife Area located in the vicinity of Paulden.
  • Land uses include wildlife preservation and recreation.

 

 

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References and Supplemental Reading for the Verde River Basin

Colorado River Central Highlands Planning Area Download entire Central Highlands Planning Area Atlas in pdf Verde River above Paulden Oak Creek