Glass Containers Banned at Oak Creek and Fossil Creek

Jeff Maltzman | Oak Creek

Jeff Maltzman | Oak Creek

It’s April 22 … yep, Earth Day. As such, we thought this reminder about following the Leave No Trace Principles was especially appropriate. Unfortunately, LNT is an ethos that is frequently ignored (as you’ll read below and in our upcoming June issue), and that’s a dangerous problem. Now, our friends at the Forest Service have implemented this latest ban to keep visitors safe and, hopefully, eliminate dangerous litter.

The Coconino National Forest is implementing a prohibition on glass food and beverage containers on federal lands near Oak Creek and Fossil Creek, two popular public swimming areas. This ban will be in effect beginning April 1, 2014. Broken glass containers are to blame for cut feet and litter in many locations along these two streams. This prohibition will enhance health and safety and reduce hazardous waste in the stream corridor.

Along Oak Creek near Sedona, glass containers are prohibited on Forest land within 300 feet of the edge of Oak Creek except within designated picnic and campgrounds or within a motor vehicle. This prohibition extends from Red Rock Crossing upstream through Oak Creek Canyon to Pumphouse Wash.

For Fossil Creek, glass containers are prohibited within the entire Wild and Scenic River area ¼ mile on either side of Fossil Creek from the Fossil Springs area downstream to below Stehr Lake. This includes portions of the Coconino and the Tonto national forests. Visitors may have glass containers within their vehicle.

Forest visitors are encouraged to abide by the prohibition so that the stream corridor is safer for everyone. Visitors should bring alternate types of containers with them if they are picnicking stream-side. The prohibition will be posted at all bulletin boards and entry areas. Per Title 16 36 CFR 261.50 (a) and/or (b), violation of this Order is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, or both.

Contact the Red Rock Ranger District at (928)-203-2900 or for additional information.


Filed under Eco Issues, Et Cetera, Mother Nature

5 responses to “Glass Containers Banned at Oak Creek and Fossil Creek

  1. stu dunkel

    Yup it is earth day……….in 1975 obtained 5 acres of desert 5 mi up Silver Springs rd, exit 79, I-40. in Cottonwood Cliffs. In 2010 bot adjacent 2.5 acres…..spent over $4000 to clean junk off the 7.5 acres worth about $5000, not a real financially smart thing to do…….BUT now have my own mini National Park…….it is back  (or on its way) to the way it was for thousands of preceding years.  Like pre-Cambrian.   Amazing how fast the desert reclaims itself…..lots of flowers and prickly pear. My God it is beautiful there, elevation 4400 ft..  Unfortunately due to family responsibilities this earth day I’m stuck in Missouri with all the cultivation, lawns….and missing a wonderful day in the desert.  In addition to your publications Abbey’s Desert Solitaire is part of the little library maintained there.   Rural AZ is such a beautiful place, you are lucky to be there………..Regards, Stu Dunkel  

    • Marc

      I didn’t realize glass was such a problem there, though it makes complete sense that it would be. There are plenty of examples of pollution affecting wildlife in Arizona, and I find it interesting that researchers are pursuing a solution that involves nothing more than letting nature “do it’s thing”. I wrote a quick post about it at

  2. Kim Girard

    I’m glad for the ban, but sadly do not expect it to do much good. After all, littering is against the law – seen any litter lately? Ever heard of anyone getting fined for littering? The slobs will always be among us…

  3. I am glad for the ban. I remember the results of broken glass in lakes(Lake Mead) My father had to rush his friend back across the lake and into Boulder City for medical attention. Perhaps if we are more proactive and challenge the slobs among us the tide will turn.

  4. LeighAnn

    I’m sorry, it’s about dang time they did something about that. I used to live in the verde valley and go to Fossil Creek all the time. I was so disgusted with the amount of trash that was there, not just on the shore, but in the water too. I brought my scuba equipment one day and had 4 trash bags full of stuff from the water. And that was just me working. Let’s work to keep fossil beautiful, it’s beautiful place that Arizona is lucky to have, so let’s keep it that way♡

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