Fossil Creek, which originates from a deep crack in the Mogollon Rim, is at the geographic heart of Arizona.
Fossil Creek has been giving itself to Arizona for millennia. Now Arizona Public Service (APS) returns the creek to its historic channel where it will be free to regenerate its authentic ecosystem.
Fossil Creek is a travertine system. Its spring water travels through limestone deposits that charge it with calcium carbonate. For eons the calcium carbonate was deposited to form concrete-like dams and terraces. The result was a unique series of cascading step-pools along its 14-mile trip to the Verde River.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has worked with APS and many partners in restoring the historical authenticity of what lives in Fossil Creek's waters. A fish barrier has been erected to prevent upstream movement of competing non-native fish species.
Restoring native fish populations helps to avert the need to add species to the Endangered Species list.
The generator's motors are turned off this Saturday, and by 2009, the power plant will be completely gone.