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Rogers Lake County Natural Area
Rogers lake 

Rogers Lake County Natural Area wins State Natural Resources Award

Coconino County Parks and Recreation was awarded the 2011 Natural Resources Award by the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association for the Rogers Lake County Natural Area.

Rogers Lake is a regionally significant high-elevation wetland important to numerous wildlife species, including elk, black bear, pronghorn, bald eagles, and migrating waterfowl.

Coconino County Acquired Rogers Lake in a Public Auction

Rogers Lake ViewAt an auction held on Nov. 1, 2010 on the steps of the Coconino County Courthouse, Coconino County successfully bid on the acquisition of Rogers Lake, located ten miles southwest of Flagstaff.  The auction was conducted by Arizona State Land Commissioner Maria Baier.

With funding from the 2002 voter approved Coconino Parks and Open Space (CPOS) program and a 2010 Growing Smarter Grant, Coconino County is able to protect and preserve 2,250 acres of land, including 1,400 acres of wetland.  Rogers Lake is known for its significant natural and cultural resources and opportunities for incomparable wildlife viewing.

County efforts to acquire State trust land at Rogers Lake began in 2002, immediately following voter approval of the CPOS initiative.  Coconino County Parks and Recreation took the lead to file a petition for the acquisition of Rogers Lake, using the State’s Arizona Preserve Initiative.  This initiative set aside funding at the State level in the Land Conservation Fund, referred to as the Growing Smarter State Trust Land Acquisition Grant Funds. Over the eight-year acquisition process, the County  made three amendments to its original petition.

In 2010, the State Land Commissioner reclassified 2,250 acres of State trust lands at Rogers Lake as suitable for conservation, using the Arizona Preserve Initiative process.  The County applied for Growing Smarter funds and was awarded $6,159,921.16 by the Arizona State parks Board on September 15, 2010.  These grant funds were used in combination with CPOS funds to purchase Rogers Lake.

Coconino County Parks and Recreation collaborated with several agencies and private stakeholders throughout the process:  Arizona State Land Department-Forestry Division; Miller Bros. LLC and Family; Camp Navajo-U.S. Army/ AZDEMA; Arizona Game and Fish; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; U.S. Forest Service-Coconino National Forest; Manterola Sheep Company; Northern Arizona University-Centennial Forest; Coconino County Community Development Department; Coconino County District 3 Supervisor Matt Ryan; U.S. Naval Observatory; Natural Resources Conservation District; Willow Bend Environmental Education Center; and The Arboretum at Flagstaff.

These stakeholders were instrumental in assisting Coconino County Parks and Recreation and the Arizona Game and Fish Department to develop a Management Plan for the Natural Area, approved by the Coconino County Board of Supervisors in 2014. The Plan describes resource values, management goals and strategies, and anticipated stakeholder involvement in future projects at Rogers Lake County Natural Area.

Conservation values of Rogers Lake include:
  • Wildlife diversity and vegetation communities characteristic of an ephemeral wetland; 
  • Important habitat for bald eagles, waterfowl, and wading birds; potential habitat for Mexican spotted owl, Navajo mountain vole, Northern leopard frog, and other sensitive species; critical migration corridor for pronghorn, mule deer, turkey, elk, and black bear; 
  • Valuable prehistoric sites and scatter areas dating back 5,000 years in addition to old railroad beds and log structures from Flagstaff’s sheep herding and logging era; and 
  • Striking vistas of the iconic San Francisco Peak as well as Woody Mountain. 

RL Ariel View

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