The Forest Service is implementing a new permit system for motorized use of Soldiers Pass road just north of the city of Sedona. The new plan allows for Red Rock Western Jeep Tours to continue to use the road as well as up to 12 unguided public vehicles each day, which would be required to get a permit. 

The goal is to reduce the volume of motorized traffic in the area and reduce the conflicts that are occurring as a result of motorized use. The Forest Service's Red Rock Ranger District will convene a collaborative group on April 20 to begin developing parameters for the public permit system.

Soldiers Pass road is temporarily closed to motorized use by the public to allow for gate installation and will remain closed to public motorized use until a permit system is established. The Soldier Pass Trailhead and parking lot also will be closed briefly for gate installation.

Hikers wanting access to the Soldier Pass area can still enter from other trailheads, such as Jim Thompson and Adobe Jack during the parking lot closure.

For more information on this project contact Julie Rowe, recreation special uses program manager for the Red Rock Ranger District, at (928) 203-7516 or by email at jrowe@fs.fed.us. Project details, maps and additional information are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=38555.

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Emery Cowan writes about science, health and the environment for the Arizona Daily Sun, covering everything from forest restoration to endangered species recovery efforts.

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