PRESCOTT, AZ — An 84-acre ranch along the Upper Verde River is being added to the Prescott National Forest to help protect the river's natural state and eventually enhance public access.
A spokeswoman for The Trust for Public Land says the conservation nonprofit bought the Rio Verde Ranch for just under $1.7 million and sold it for that amount to the federal government.
The ranch includes six-tenths of a mile of the Verde, one of Arizona's few free-flowing rivers.
Much of the Upper Verde is already part of the national forest but cliffs along the river mean places suitable for public access are few.
The trust says the property will remain closed while officials prepare a management plan.