Does Prescott Have Enough Open Space?

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We often have a conflict with citizens resisting development. That is a natural phenomenon . . . it happens everywhere and for many decades. However, the Prescott area, and indeed Yavapai County, we DO have a lot of open space. The pie chart below depicts how much land is used by different entities. Notice that just a little over one quarter of the land in Yavapai County is privately owned.

The open space is not all in the cities and towns. One of the reasons we like our open space is the solitude and relief it brings to our personal environment. We also enjoy having an abundance of wildlife in our surroundings. Most of us enjoy seeing the Mule Deer, Bobcats [Lynx more accurately] and maybe even a Coyote or a few Javelina once in a while. These can be appreciated in the forest — in our yards not so much. We also like to watch the Pronghorn Antelope in our open meadows.

Our open space is not evenly distributed. Prescott is bounded on the south and west by the Prescott National Forest. Many of our neighborhoods in the south and western parts of Prescott have been developed leaving the Ponderosa Pines in place where they have grown for decades. Mingus Mountain to the east of Prescott Valley is also part of the Prescott National Forest and also has enormous stands of Ponderosa Pines.

Land use map in Prescott Arizona

Click for Larger Map

Most of the private land in the Bradshaw Mountains south of Prescott was preserved as private land because of the [mostly gold] mining claims that were made before the Prescott National Forest was set aside. The best example of a Piney neighborhood within the Prescott National Forest are the community of Walker and Groom Creek.

Most of the old mining claims have been divided into cabin or home sites.

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