Save the Dells seeks to permanently protect the remaining undeveloped portions of the Granite Dells as public open space for people, wildlife, and community. We are harnessing the power of an all-volunteer group of local citizens to achieve our vision of creating one of the most spectacular Regional Parks in America.
We asked some prominent locals why the Granite Dells are worth saving. Here’s what they said:
What are the Dells?
The Granite Dells, commonly just called The Dells, are one of Arizona's most stunning landscapes. This is Prescott's most defining feature - a wonderland of wild rock formations interspersed with the spectacular Willow and Watson Lakes. Tucked against Glassford Hill, an ancient volcano, this outcrop of 1.4 billion year old granite spires and domes is a mecca for wildlife watchers, rock climbers, hikers, bikers, boaters, and families just out for a casual stroll on the Peavine National Recreation Trail. The City of Prescott features the Dells on their webpage, and for decades has slowly acquired open space lands now much beloved by our community for so many reasons. The Prescott Region is growing rapidly, and is slated to add 25,000 more new homes over the next several decades. This time is upon us to fulfill the vision for a premier regional park, and "fill in the gaps" in this patchwork of parkland. Time is running out - join us and help Save the Dells to ensure we share a livable, healthy, and beautiful community in the years to come!
Quality of Life
Watson and Willow Lakes, Granite and Willow Creeks, and numerous winding side canyons are recognized by the Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area.
The many secluded nooks and crannies in this mosaic of rocks, grassland, and forest provides habitat for a variety of wild animals.
The dynamic landscape of wet and dry habitats is host to many reptiles and amphibians, including the Sonoran Kingsnake.
Save the Dells has prepared a series of maps and images to help you understand the on-the-ground extent of growth at Prescott's northern edge. Using state-of-the-art GIS technology, the best spatial data available, and information sourced from Arizona "Eco" Developments website and their presentations to City Council, we offer these maps and images to help you decide if the Dells are worth sacrificing. Click through the thumbnails below to see how these developments might change the Dells forever.
Many visitors and residents alike mistakenly believe that the Dells are protected public lands. However,only 25% of the roughly 3,000 acres of the rocky Granite Dells area is "open space" protected by the City of Prescott. Another 25% of the Dells are already subdivided into house lots, many of which have been developed, and 15% is owned by the Arizona State Land Department and is subject to auctioning off to the highest bidder. That leaves about 1,000 acres of unprotected Dells at threat of development - and loss of public access.
Arizona "Eco" Development's conceptual 850 acre "Homestead" development would bring roads, homes, and a high-end resort-complex into the heart of the Dells - on both sides of the Peavine and Iron King Trails. If approved by the City, this development would encompass almost 350 acres of completely undeveloped, rocky and rugged Dells landscape treasured by our community. Look at how much land is currently being developed into housing, commercial, and industrial use: Is destroying 1/3 of the rest of the Dells the best decision for Prescott?
Do we need to develop in the Dells? We say "NO!" There's more than enough private land available for development. This map shows the 15,000 acres owned by Arizona "Eco" Development in pink shades. The parcel of greatest concern is highlighted in red. Other developments are shown in orange and yellow.
Click map to enlarge.
Save the Dells is a grassroots group of Prescott area residents committed to preserving the iconic Granite Dells landscape as permanently protected public open space for the benefit of wildlife, for our quality of life, and for a sustainable economy. Join us in saving this spectacular crown jewel of Prescott from major development threats!
Submit your contact information and we will keep you up to date with news and ways you can get involved; you can also contribute to our cause by donating to our Political Action Committee using the button below. Help us to ensure we have a beautiful community for years to come!
Who We Are
Read a message from the PAC Chairman
You may be wondering exactly who is behind the Save the Dells campaign. We’d like to take this opportunity to fill you in on some of the details on the people who are behind this organization. Save the Dells is a Political Action Committee (PAC) which was registered with the City of Prescott on January 18, 2018. As a non-profit PAC, Save the Dells is allowed to receive donations, but because we are not a 501c3 any donations are not tax-deductible. All donations are/will be used for advertisements, printing, stickers, venue rent, postage, and minor incidental expenses. There are no paid staff, interns or contractors.
Joe Trudeau is the PAC Chairman, and veteran open-space advocate Rod Moyer is the Treasurer. Joe and Rod are the only individuals who are legally affiliated with the group. There is no Board, nor official governance structure, but there are some people who we've asked for help along the way. These are all upstanding members of our community who have fought for years to preserve the most essential elements of our culture and nature here in Prescott. They include an esteemed surgeon, environmental scientists, college-level educators, former city officials, students at our colleges, retired folks, athletes, musicians, Prescott natives, and some "familiar faces" in Prescott's open-space and trails protection history.
We built our website and our entire campaign ourselves from the grassroots up. We did this with the help of these friends in town who are long-time open space, wildlife, and recreation advocates. These folks work for, or own, local non-profits and businesses that you've heard of many times. Because we are organized as a PAC, we are inherently "political", and as such, people who affiliate in an active manner may incur some degree of exposure to the whims of political battles. Because of that, most people who have helped us get this campaign up and running have asked to remain somewhat anonymous, at least at the website/public print level, which we understand and must honor. But if you pay close attention to social and print media, public events, and other marketing, you’ll be able to figure out who else is involved.
As for Joe, he’s a conservation scientist and advocate who has worked in outdoor education and natural resources management in the Southwest for 20 years. He and his wife, a Prescott native, built a house on her family land off White Spar Highway and they're settled in here for the long haul. Joe works for a national wildlife conservation non-profit, but he’s approaching this effort from a civic level, and not officially involving his organization. Joe’s a 25-year veteran mountain biker (love’s riding in the Dells), a member of the Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance, has been active in the Greater Prescott Trails Planning Partnership over the past 5 years, and in the past he served on the Board of Directors of the Central Arizona Land Trust ("CALT" holds conservation easements for public access on a property in the Dells, three on Thumb Butte, and one in Mountain Club; all with public trails). Joe is hugely devoted to this place, and committed to keeping Save the Dells an entirely homegrown local’s effort.
We hope this has helped alleviate any concerns over who Save the Dells is and how we are structured. And we hope this has earned your support in our effort to preserve the Dells as central Arizona’s premier Regional Park! Please continue to explore our website, follow us on Facebook, and if you want to learn more about this campaign, sign up to get involved in helping to Save the Dells! And again, please consider a donation to help us make sure City Council knows that our community is serious about taking a long-term perspective on protecting the best of Prescott’s wild, rocky Granite Dells.
Thank you and we look forward to you joining in our movement.
Save the Dells
PO Box 3028
Prescott, AZ, 86302
Matt Turner--tierraimagery.com//Mike Coffey//
Matthias Petsche - www.matthiaspetsche.com
Paid for by the Save the Dells Political Action Committee. Contributions or gifts to Save the Dells are not tax deductible as charitable contributions.