This fall, Western Rivers Conservancy launched an effort to conserve a rare unprotected reach of Arizona’s East Verde River. Flowing from headwaters in the forests of the Mogollon Rim, the East Verde courses through nearly 30 miles of backcountry within the Tonto National Forest and Mazatzal Wilderness, where it finally meets the Verde River against a backdrop of sunbaked boulders and saguaro cacti.
Last week, Western Rivers Conservancy successfully conserved the last unprotected reach of Fossil Creek, one of two Wild and Scenic Rivers in Arizona. Known for its spectacular travertine pools and crystal-clear aquamarine water, Fossil Creek is a haven for fish and wildlife and a mecca for people who come to escape the heat by taking to the banks and pools of this stunning desert river.
It’s official: Western Rivers Conservancy purchased the last piece of unprotected land along Arizona’s Fossil Creek, a tributary to the Verde River and one of only two Wild and Scenic Rivers in the state. WRC intends to convey the property to the Coconino National Forest for inclusion and protection within the Wild and Scenic River corridor, affording these vital riverlands one of the best protections a river can get.
Flowing from a series of mineral springs in central Arizona, Fossil Creek is known for its travertine pools and stunning aquamarine water. In an arid landscape it is a lush oasis, providing habitat for rare native fish, beavers, otters, leopard frogs, bats and an extraordinary array of bird species.