News Flash


Posted on: August 22, 2022

Coconino County Acquires Important Kachina Village Parcel, Protecting Wetland Habitat

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This particular parcel is an important addition to the Pumphouse County Natural Area, which is a part of the Oak Creek watershed. Oak Creek has a special designation as a Federal unique waterway, and the acquisition will protect the land from development.

Coconino County Acquires Important Kachina Village Parcel, 
 Protecting Wetland Habitat From Development


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Protecting, preserving, and caring for our environment is a core value of Coconino County’s Mission Statement, and the county’s Parks and Recreation Department is pleased to announce the acquisition of six acres of open space wetland near Pumphouse Wash in Kachina Village. Because of their unique characteristics, wetlands are important features in the natural landscape that provide numerous benefits for people and wildlife which include protecting and improving water quality, providing wildlife habitats, storing floodwaters, and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods. 


This particular parcel is an important addition to the Pumphouse County Natural Area, which is a part of the Oak Creek watershed. Oak Creek has a special designation as a Federal “unique waterway,” and the acquisition will protect the land from development, which would have a negative impact to this sensitive and unique parcel and its biodiversity. 


Management of the Pumphouse Wash parcel and the surrounding area will focus on protecting, maintaining, and restoring the area’s hydrological and ecological functions, including its vegetation, wildlife, and water flow. The county will work toward opportunities that will protect and buffer the natural area’s ecosystem and scenic value, with an aim toward long-term land conservation. This protection will also ensure the continued enjoyment of the land by Coconino County residents and visitors. 


“We are pleased to include this new land acquisition to the overall Pumphouse County Natural Area that will help protect the local wetland and the headwaters of Oak Creek Canyon. Coconino County has identified this as a priority in the area’s management plan and are grateful to add it to the park system,” said county Parks and Recreation Director Cynthia Nemeth. 


The county-owned lands that make up the 129-acre Pumphouse Wash Natural Area were assembled through donation, purchase and grant funds received since 2000. In the mid-2000s the county received grant assistance of $910,000 from the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund. These grant funds were used to augment $1 million from the County’s Coconino Parks & Open Space Sales Tax Fund.


In a set of 1977 Executive Orders, President Jimmy Carter defined wetlands as “… those areas that are inundated by surface or ground water with a frequency sufficient to support and under normal circumstances does or would support a prevalence of vegetative or aquatic life that requires saturated or seasonally saturated soil conditions for growth and reproduction. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas such as sloughs, potholes, wet meadows, river overflows, mud flats, and natural ponds.”


Wetlands play an integral role in the ecology of a watershed. The combination of shallow water, high levels of nutrients and primary productivity is ideal for the development of organisms that form the base of the food chain and feed many local species of amphibians and insects. Many species of birds and mammals also rely on wetlands for food, water, and shelter, especially during migration and breeding. 


Coconino County Parks and Recreation is committed to engage the public in delivering quality parks, equitable community partnerships, diverse recreational opportunities, and distinctive natural areas and open spaces, thereby enriching people’s lives through exceptional parks and programs. For more information, please visit: 

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