The Verde River, one of the rarest things in the Southwest, a perennial free flowing river, is under threat. No Surprise! Just about everything in the natural world of real value is either gone or under threat from the growth of human population and the poor stewardship of our natural resources.
However, the Verde River has an army of protectors, including Sustainable Arizona. For years, we have worked closely with the Verde River Basin Partnerhsip, Verde Valley Land Preservation, The Nature Conservancy, Center for Biological Diversity, Verde River Greenway and others to protect the watershed from contamination and over use. The river still flows.
This year, Sustainable Arizona joined with a cadre of groups on specific projects aimed at proving the economic value of the Verde River while protecting it. Our part is focused on the largest economic sector in Northern Arizona (actually the entire state), tourism. The Value the Verde project is our ecotourism initiative. It is supported in part by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation Fresh Water Fund.
Sustainable Arizona drafted The Verde Compact which tourism and related businesses sign pledging themselves to continually improve the performance in several areas: water conservation and protection, waste minimization, energy efficiency, community support and visitor education. Once a business "signs on," they become part of the Verde Experience and are registered on the Sedona Verde Guide, an interactive web portal to ecotourism experiences in the Verde Valley.
As soon as the website is up, we'll put a hotlink on this site. Follow our progress, and visit the Verde businesses. They deserve our support.
The Verde Compact
In appreciation of the Verde River, its rare and beautiful habitats and the spectacular red rock environment that surrounds our communities and attracts millions of visitors each year, we commit to conducting our businesses with special attention to the following:
Conserving and Protecting Our Water Resources
As citizens of the Verde Valley, we have a responsibility to our neighbors and our future to do our part to preserve the Verde River watershed. We also recognize that our businesses depend upon sustaining a healthy natural environment, so highly valued by visitors. We therefore commit to continuously improving our water conservation efforts and the use of benign chemical products in our operations.
We understand that generating wastes is a waste of resources and increases costs for our communities and our businesses. We therefore commit to reducing, reusing, recycling and composting wherever possible.
Being Energy Efficient
There is a nexus between energy use, air quality and water conservation. We know that using less energy and clean energy resources is better for our community, our environment and our businesses. We therefore commit to continuous improvement in energy efficiency and the use of green energy sources.
Supporting Our Community
Healthy, vibrant communities are wonderful places to live…and to visit. We therefore commit to engaging with our neighbors in ways that support our communities and the businesses that sustain them.
Educating Our Visitors
The Verde Valley is truly unique in Arizona and the Southwest. The geology, the history, the diversity, the cultures, the habitats and the communities make this region a critically important world destination that must be preserved. We therefore commit to offering our visitors information about the Verde Valley, its environments and communities. We will help them understand new ways to both enjoy and protect this special place for future generations.