New Sedona regulations spark controversy over trail access

Coconino National Forest new law creates controversy over which jeep tours company gets to hit the road.

The Coconino National Forest has proposed a rule that would regulate the use of motorized vehicles on the Soldier's Pass trail in Sedona. It has been largely agreed that the area suffers from congestion issues as well as safety concerns for people who drive that trail.

The new proposal would completely prohibit the use of motorized vehicles in the area, except through one commercial jeep tour company, Red Rock Jeep Tours.

According to the Forest Service, the decision allowing one company to travel in and out of the area was made over 20 years ago. The service also said that it is a good idea to continue allowing the company they've been using for decades to conduct business in that area. 

For many local residents, however, the change is viewed as the Forest Service creating a monopoly for jeep tours and motorized vehicle access. They view this change as potentially setting a precedent that could have nationwide ramifications, allowing the Forest Service to set up similar monopolies in similar areas throughout the country. 

There was a public comment period about this issue in April. Anyone who officially commented during that original period is welcome to comment through the rest of the month until Oct. 31. 

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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