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Huge Flagstaff District Recreation and Trails Planning! Meeting attendance and comment letters needed!

November 1st, 2013

The Flagstaff Ranger District has just released the Mount Elden Dry Lake Hills Recreation Planning Proposed Action! (MEDL)

US Forest Service logoThis is a project that we have been pushing for for over a decade!

The Proposed Action, which is the first fully public stage of the NEPA, (National Environmental Policy Act), planning includes:

  • New trails
  • Dedicated Class 4, (similar to Flagstaff Urban Trail), alignment of the Flagstaff Loop Trail from the Elden Lookout Trail to Elden Lookout Road with a connector to Buffalo Park
  • Forest Service system downhill mountain bike trails
  • Easier realignment clearance for erosive sections of existing system trails
  • Equestrian trails near the Elden Horse Camp
  • Formalization of the climbing area on Elden Lookout Road including a parking area
  • More!

There will be a public meeting/open house on November 18th, 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm at the Flagstaff Aquaplex, 1702 N. 4th Street, Flagstaff. Please make an effort to attend and express your support for this planning and offer any specific ideas.

For all of the details and maps on this Proposed Action, click here!

VERY IMPORTANT!!! PLEASE WRITE A COMMENT LETTER TO THE FLAGSTAFF DISTRICT IN SUPPORT OF THIS ACTION!

Helpful comment tips for the Forest Service Mount Elden Dry Lakes Recreation Planning

General:

  • Be polite!
  • Please support this planning generally.
  • Explain why trails and recreation are important to you. What kind of riding do you like? Do you volunteer on trail days?
  • Explain the specific importance of purpose-built single track/FUTS type trails/ downhill trails/etc. and why this is important to you.
  • Generally support the Flagstaff Biking Organization’s position on the details of the planning. We have done a ton of both formal and informal surveying of many riders and we have consolidated all of that input into some great ideas that will provide opportunities for every type of rider.

Specific:

  • Recommend relocating Schultz Creek Trail Head to the “Schultz ‘Y’” City Parcel, thereby providing a 4-season accessible trail head. Ask for the US Forest Service to seek an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Flagstaff to manage and protect this property as open space and a trail head.
  • Recommend aligning the Flagstaff Loop Trail along the foot of Mount Elden on contours along the Pipeline corridor rather than where it is shown in the Proposed Action along Forces of Nature and other trails in the Environmental Study Area.
  • Recommend adding upper Red Onion trail into the system in the Preferred Alternative in the Draft Environmental Assessment. Explain the importance of the connectivity of this trail to the system.
  • Support FBO’s recommended addition of a trail between the Schultz Creek Trail Head and the newly proposed Dry Lake Hills Loop. This will add an alternative to both Schultz Creek Trail and Rocky Ridge Trail to help disperse use and minimize user conflicts as well as maximizing the “stacked-loops” concept in the Dry Lake Hills.
  • Recommend maximizing opportunities for downhill trails. Even if you are not a “downhiller”, providing well-managed opportunities for this use helps to minimize user conflicts, allows the construction of sustainable trails that can be legally maintained minimizing environmental impacts, and is instrumental in introducing some new riders to mountain biking.
  • Support FBO’s recommendation to move lower Brookbank Trail from its currently proposed re-alignment to the east. We have hiked this area extensively and our alignment would make for a much better trail.
  • Recommend adding Ginger and Jedi Trails to the system. These trails provide an intermediate to advanced experience that is otherwise not available on the system.
  • Support FBO’s recommendation to add a trail connecting the lower section of Sunset Trail to the top of Lower Brookbank to add further connectivity and versatility to the trail system.
  • Support all of the trail additions brought forth in the Proposed Action! There is some great stuff in this proposal. Even though some of the trails will be focused on other uses, they will still be open to bicycles and will help disperse use and provide some great opportunities for our friends who hike, trail run and ride horses.
  • Support the improvements to the Mount Elden Environmental Study Area. Better interpretive facilities and signage will not only enhance opportunities for education as is the mission of this area, but will also help with way-finding in this area.
  • Support adding the ability for the Forest Service to realign poorly aligned trails that are already part of the system as necessary to address erosion and user-experience concerns as stated in the Proposed Action.
  • Support enhanced and appropriate opportunities for permitted trail events, like bike races.

Email your comments to comments-southwestern-coconino-flagstaff@fs.fed.us

Contact trails@flagstaffbiking.org with questions or input on Flagstaff Biking Organization’s position on this Action.


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