Sedona businessman fined for ropes training course

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

SEDONA, Ariz. (AP) -- A Sedona businessman has agreed to pay a fine and restitution for conducting a ropes training course near Oak Creek Canyon without a permit and for damaging resources.

The Coconino National Forest on Wednesday announced the resolution of the case against Reed Thorne, who owns Ropes That Rescue.

Officials say Thorne started a fire within a narrow canyon that is home to rare plants and animals, and a sensitive riparian community during the weeklong training course last September. He was issued two citations.

Under an agreement with federal prosecutors and the U.S. Forest Service, Thorne will pay a $500 fine and $5,000 in restitution.

Thorne has said his lack of a permit was the result of a misunderstanding and that the small fire carefully was monitored.

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