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Coconino County Supervisors Call on DOI to Maintain Vermilion Cliffs National Monument Designation


The Coconino County Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution in support of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. It follows an executive order by President Trump to review more than two dozen monument designations throughout the country. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

The supervisors are calling on the Interior Department to maintain the status of Vermilion Cliffs. They say the monument spurs economic growth by attracting tourists and benefitting local businesses.

Liz Archuleta is chairwoman of the board and calls the monument iconic.

"It’s a matter of taking the uniqueness of your county and turning it into an asset. And for us in Coconino County, our public lands are an asset," she says.

The board based the resolution on a recent study by the research firm Headwaters Economics. It shows strong population, job and personal income growth in the county since the monument’s designation in 2000.

The supervisors also say Vermilion Cliffs provides critical habitat for endangered California condors.

The 280,000-acre national monument is home to the sandstone formation called the Wave, popular with photographers and hikers. It was designated by President Bill Clinton.

Vermilion Cliffs is one of four Arizona monuments included in the Interior Department’s review.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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