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News Release

Yavapai-Apache Nation

After several years of dedicated negotiations, the Town of Camp Verde, Arizona and the Yavapai-Apache Nation have reached a historic agreement to support the return of a small part of the nation’s ancestral lands located within the municipal boundaries of the Town of Camp Verde to the nation.

Under the terms of the agreement approved June 16 by the governing councils for both the town and the nation, U.S. Forest Service lands identified in the agreement — if successfully exchanged with the Forest Service in the future — can be added to the nation’s existing reservation with the full support of the town. The agreement also cements the nation’s support for the town’s potential acquisition of up to 40 acres of land along General Crook Road to develop new public safety facilities to improve emergency response times.

“This agreement reflects years of work by the Yavapai-Apache Nation and the Town of Camp Verde,” says Jon Huey, Chairman of the Yavapai-Apache Nation. “Most of these lands in this agreement were once part of our original reservation that was established in 1871 by President Grant,” says Huey. “Having the opportunity to see a small part of these lands returned to us, and with the full cooperation of the Town of Camp Verde, is an amazing opportunity for the nation, the town, and the entire region,” says Huey.

Under the agreement, the town would receive retail sales tax revenue generated from future developments on the lands added to the nation’s reservation. The agreement also designates approximately 1,200 acres of Forest Service lands located at the intersection of Interstated-17 and the 260 Highway as the “Yavapai-Apache - Camp Verde Economic Development Corridor” for commercial development purposes, with the nation agreeing to collect and pay 1% in retail sales to the town from the nation’s future commercial developments in the corridor.

The agreement also formalizes a process for continued cooperation between the nation and town on future development projects and makes clear that existing roads, utility, and other easements will be maintained on any lands added to the nation’s reservation to preserve historic access in the region.

“We are pleased to be a part of this historic agreement to support the potential return of some of the nation’s ancestral lands,” says Dee Jenkins, Mayor of Camp Verde. “The potential to see commercial development on some of the Forest Service land that is already integrated into our town boundaries is an exciting opportunity for the town, since it will create new job opportunities and tax revenue that would not otherwise be available to us,” says Jenkins. “We look forward to working with the Yavapai-Apache Nation and the Forest Service to make this opportunity a reality.”

The Yavapai-Apache Nation is a federally recognized tribe that currently has just over 1,800 acres of land in the Verde Valley. The nation has approximately 2,600 enrolled Tribal Members, with a young and growing tribal population. The nation is a significant employer in the Verde Valley, operating Cliff Castle Casino and Hotel, Distant Drum RV Park, as well as farming, ranching and other economic enterprises.

The Town of Camp Verde is located in the heart of the Verde Valley. The town fosters a western lifestyle, with numerous small farms and ranches located within the town boundaries, and with homes that front the perennial and scenic Verde River. Camp Verde has a population of approximately 12,000 residents.

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