Commentary: Rockin’ River State Park – boon or boondoggle | Camp Verde Bugle – Arizona News

Commentary: Rockin’ River State Park – boon or boondoggle | Camp Verde Bugle – Arizona News

After many months (maybe a few years) of rumors, the State Parks planning group (whoever they are?) hosted a public meeting on June 1st to introduce their ideas on a master plan for transforming the Rockin’ River Ranch on Salt Mine Road into a new state park.

The Rockin’ River Ranch was purchased in 2010 by the Nature Conservancy for $7 million and turn over to the Arizona State Parks.

This year, Governor Ducey appropriated an initial $4 million to build the state park and formal planning has begun.

His vision is to use the 200 acres to:

“Provide visitors access to one of Arizona’s most unique and pristine natural landscapes, as well as enhanced opportunities for outdoor recreational activities. More than one mile of riverfront will provide access for fishing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing; stables and hiking trails will connect visitors to Prescott National Forest; camping grounds and cabins will provide lodging for overnight guests; previously cultivated fields will lend space for community events; and did we mention the horses?”

The meeting was hosted by both our state representatives and even the mayor of Camp Verde attended. So all should be well in Camelot, right?

Not so fast. What could go wrong with such a great project? A lot to put into 200 acres.

We will ignore some of the more basic questions such as why we would be spending this kind of money on private land when the state cannot even fund our school systems or provide decent teacher’s pay.

Let’s start with the money trail. The term “economic benefit” is used in the park’s presentation and a favorite bureaucratic ploy. This is a code name for more tax revenue. An…

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