2022 has been a busy year so far and I would like to bring you up to speed with all the exciting things going on in your District 3 office.
U.S.Congressman Tom O’Halleran, third generation cattle rancher Andy Groseta, Yavapai County District 3 P&Z Commissioner Charley Pitcher, Rhoda Pitcher, and others (not shown), met with me in my office on grazing allotments and the impact of OHVs on our public lands.
We recently hosted a meeting between Forest Service representatives and local cattle ranchers to discuss grazing rights.
NEW MEAT PROCESSING FACILITY COMING SOON
The commitment and hard work of the Arizona Cattle Growers Association (ACGA), along with myself and others, resulted in a $9.7 million dollar State allocation for a meat processing facility in Camp Verde. This new facility will be a public/private partnership between the U of A and Tom Lowe, a local Yavapai County Rancher, and a grazing permittee on the Prescott National Forest. Heather Mulcaire at Yavapai College will be developing a curriculum to train students in animal harvesting, processing, cutting, and wrapping. This is great news for the Verde Valley and all of north central Arizona which includes Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Dewey-Humboldt, Williams, Flagstaff, Payson, Mayer, Cordes Junction, Black Canyon City, and many other towns. Presently, many of the ranchers must take their beef as far away as Buckeye to be processed. Furthermore, the wait for their beef to be processed is as long as 8 months. This new facility will provide timely, local processing, employment and ensure our County continues to grow in self- reliance.
RURAL MANAGEMENT AREA DISCUSSIONS
I have been in discussions with legislators and stakeholders , exploring Rural Management Area (RMA) legislative potential. Rural management is the study of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling of rural areas, cooperatives, agribusiness and allied fields. RMA policies would protect our rural landscape by preserving open space, protecting water and air quality and providing places for recreation. This could be an important tool to assure our local control of water management for Yavapai County.
NEW OPPORTUNITIES IN THE VERDE VALLEY
Seeing a need in our rural areas, I have been exploring the power of partnerships for the potential of expanding services for healthcare, law enforcement, Yavapai County services and affordable housing for the Village of Oak Creek law enforcement Deputies. Seen here (L to R) are: Director of Operations, Jennifer Chilton, Superintendent Dennis Dearden, Sedona Oak Creek School District, myself, and Sedona Oak Creek School District Board Chair, Randy Hawley
With the support of Spectrum Healthcare’s CEO April Rhodes and nurse extraordinaire, Sunshine Dean, Supervisor, Dr. Donna Michaels receives her second Covid booster shot. Supervisor Dr. Michaels encourages everyone to keep up your immunity with boosters!
Recently I met with representatives from First Nations People, Tony Skrelunas and Brandon Romero, to explore collaborative partnerships to create a cultural center for First Nations Peoples. Here is, left to right: Myself, Brandon, Tony and their trusty pooch, Lasso.
I have been in on-going discussions with stakeholders and various government agencies concerning the OHV issues and protecting our public lands. Red Rock District Ranger, Amy Tinderholt, recently wrote:
“We are seeking balanced solutions for all stakeholders. The Greater Sedona Recreation Collaborative is gaining steam and will spend the next year focused on OHV management!
- The City of Sedona, Coconino National Forest, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona State Parks and Trails and Yavapai County are excited to co-convene this effort.
- Southwest Decision Resources, a professional facilitation team with significant experience in the region on outdoor recreation issues, has been selected to support this effort.”
As your Supervisor I continue to monitor this situation closely and am deeply concerned about the lack of effective Forest Service action on the Coconino Forest.
Stay tuned for updates on the above activities and other initiatives such as trails, Broadband, APS powerlines, septic to sewer and more which are underway in District 3.
COMING SOON!! A VIRTUAL Town Hall Meeting!
As noted, I have been been working on your behalf on many different issues and would enjoy the opportunity to further share with you what has been happening in the District 3 office and in Yavapai County through a virtual Town Hall Meeting. Stay tuned for the date and time!
In the meantime feel free to contact my office to set up a one-on-one meeting with me to discuss any issues you feel are important to you and our communities. Please contact Veronica Stepanek at 928-649-6227 between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. between Monday through Friday.
Thanks for spending time with us!
Donna G. Michaels, Ph.D.
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors
Left to Right: Candra, Susie, Donna and Veronica