Rural Planning Area

On March 11, 2003, the Coconino County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution proposed by the Prosser and Metzger families, to establish the Diablo Canyon Rural Planning Area (RPA).

Rural Planning Areas are authorized under Arizona statute A.R.S. 11-806.D (3). The statute allows rural landowners in counties with populations of fewer than 400,000 persons to petition the County Board of Supervisors to form RPAs. Thus, "Rural, Rural" landowners become part of the planning and permitting process instead of only being able to react to plans after they are established.

The Diablo Trust then formed a working group to help the County develop the RPA for the private ranch lands in the Diablo Trust area.


Bulls on pasture, Flying M Ranch (credit: Jeremy D. Krones)

The goal is to develop a Rural Area Plan that maximizes planning tools and incentives to promote sustainable open spaces and healthy watersheds. This resolution comes to us with high hopes and no baggage.
— Mandy Metzger, Coconino County Supervisor and former Diablo Trust director

Funds were secured from the Arizona Department of Commerce to assist in the planning effort. A number of economic opportunities that may help ensure the future sustainability of the ranches were explored, including value-added beef, wind energy, ecotourism, low impact housing, and other opportunities. Click here for more information.

The Plan for the Diablo Canyon RPA that emerged from the cooperative efforts was unanimously approved by the Coconino County Planning and Zoning Commission on June 28th, 2005, and by the Board of Supervisors on August 16th, 2005.

The Plan document was professionally designed and printed in full color. It was the recipient of numerous state and regional awards. The Plan is available to all interested friends of the Diablo Trust.

Please contact us to request a physical copy.

the entire Plan can Also be downloaded as five separate PDFs:


The Diablo Trust RPA is about protecting the landscape’s intrinsic ecological and economic values. It is about land, but it is also about community and productivity. Ranching is one of the few economic activities that produces food by keeping a landscape wild, diverse, and resilient.
— Gary Paul Nabhan, PhD., Center for Sustainable Environments

For more information about Diablo Trust's Rural Planning Area programs, please contact the committee Chairman:

Bill Towler -- williamtowler@gmail.com

An early-May storm brewing over the Flying M Ranch (credit: Jeremy D. Krones)