Response to Springs Program at NAAS Flagstaff Meeting

An Update on the Springs Talk at Flagstaff NAAS Membership Meeting


Following the talk to the Flagstafff section on springs (January 28), questions were asked about the number of springs in the region; the future of the proposed residential and commercial development in Tusayan, especially how it might affect groundwater; and what a restored spring looks like. The evening’s speaker, Cerissa Hoglander, has provided the following information:

How many springs are there in all of Arizona? 12,314; on all the National Forests in Arizona? 5,925; on just the Coconino National Forest? 1,079 (according to the Springs Stewardship Institute’s database).

What’s going on with the proposed development in Tusayan?

Roger Clark at the Grand Canyon Trust reports that the Town of Tusayan revised and posted its latest right-of-way application to the Kaibab National Forest (KNF) in September as it needs road and utility easements across national forest land to access two inholdings for high-density commercial and residential development near one of the Grand Canyon National Park entrances. The KNF rejected a similar application in 2016 because it did not meet minimum requirements, including its failure to provide sufficient information about where the new development would obtain water. Decades of drought and pumping water from Tusayan’s deep wells have reduced the amount of water flowing from springs beneath the canyon’s South Rim. The Town of Tusayan and its development partner are continuing to revise the application. If and when it is accepted, the KNF supervisor has said that the agency will require another 60 days before posting a public scoping notice for the environmental impact statement that it will prepare in assessing how the entire development—not just the right-of-way—will affect the surrounding public lands. The Grand Canyon Trust and many others are primed to participate in that public process.

What does rock structure restoration work look like during winter flows?

Buck Spring

Photos of the restoration Buck Spring work in the summer were shown during the presentation, but what does it look like in winter? This a photo from this winter’s flow over the same area (photo thanks to Matt O’Neill at US Forest Service).