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I have been fortunate to have always lived in beautiful areas where outdoor recreation was the norm.

From Lander and Jackson Hole, Wyo., to Missoula, Mont., beautiful scenery to enjoy was never scarce.

During all of my outdoor adventures I never paid to play outside a national park until I moved to Sedona, which was when I was introduced to the Red Rock Pass.

Visionaries in the Verde Valley think it is possible to diversify our local economy.

Rather than rely solely on tourism to bring jobs and tax dollars into our communities, they are looking for an industry capable of supporting itself while also possibly attracting visitors to the area.

Keeping local resources circulating within our own community seems easy enough.

Giving to organizations that serve the Verde Valley isn’t a novel idea.

However, many area residents aren’t taking advantage of a little gift the state of Arizona has given service organizations.

Over the past year The Camp Verde Journal and Cottonwood Journal Extra has begun strictly enforcing our guidelines when it comes to letters to the editor, and particularly the length requirement.

Letters are required to be 300 words or less, and if they’re longer, I send them back to the author and ask him or her to revise the letter.

On Sept. 3, 1964, the United States Congress adopted the Wilderness Act to protect undeveloped land and wildlife in our country.

Today, the U.S. Forest Service continues to protect parcels of land designated wilderness and in some areas, including the Verde Valley, it’s pushing for more acreage.

It’s hot, it’s humid, it’s sticky, and I’m out of here.

The farmers market in Cottonwood is in full swing for the season, so I decided to venture down last night with my fiance and niece who is visiting from out of town.

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