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Thank you to former City Councilmember Celia Barotz and author Christa Sadler for their thoughtful Coconino Voices article July 10th, stating that the Coconino National Forest should permanently ban campfires forest-wide. I completely agree with their perspective.

By clinging to its outdated policy that allows campfires, the Forest Service is failing to acknowledge changing climate conditions and the increasing risk of wildfires. The Coconino National Forest also needs to acknowledge that the increasing numbers of forest recreationalists are challenging their management ability and banning all campfires is a necessary and logical step to protect our forest. The key message here to the people is that the Forest Service is NOT taking away their campfires; instead it’s giving people their national forest for generations into the future.

As a Flagstaff property taxpayer who is paying back the $10 million bond that is paying for the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project, I join with Ms. Barotz and Ms. Sadler and urge the Coconino National Forest to implement a forest-wide campfire ban to protect life, property and the forest from another catastrophic wildfire.

EMMA BENENATI

Flagstaff

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