. Flagstaff Biking Organization

Flagstaff Biking Organization Proposed Trail Alignment Changes and Additions to the Proposed Action for MEDL Recreation Planning

November 17th, 2013

This map is meant to give clarity to changes and additions to trails that we would like to see represented in the Preferred Alternative in the Draft Environmental Assessment. FBO supports all of the trails contained in the MEDL Proposed Action. Just because this map does not show a trail in the Proposed Action, or already on the Forest Service System does not mean that we don’t support it. This map does not include all of FBO’s input on the MEDL Recreation Planning.

Pink lines on the map are trails that we are recommending adding to or changing from the Proposed Action. (Click the image for higher resolution.) Yellow lines are existing trails that we support decommissioning if appropriate additions are made. Red are trails that we proposed in preliminary scoping that did make it into the Proposed Action. Blue are downhill trails that we proposed in preliminary scoping that did make it into the proposed action.

Click here for more details on our input, the Forest Service Proposed Action, how to comment and more…

1)      Recommendation to add 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.

2)      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.

3)      Recommendation to add upper Red Onion trail into the system in the Preferred Alternative in the Draft Environmental Assessment. Red Onion is a vital connection to the MEDL trail system as it short cuts the need to climb all the way to the top of Mt Elden to make loops. With the realignment of Upper Oldham, this connection becomes even more valuable. Note that Red Onion would need connection across Elden LO Road to Upper Oldham.

4)      Recommendation to add Ginger and Jedi Trails to the system. These trails provide an intermediate to advanced experience that is otherwise not available on the system.

5)      Recommendation to add Ginger and Jedi Trails to the system. These trails provide an intermediate to advanced experience that is otherwise not available on the system.

6)      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.

7)      Recommendation to align the re-designated Class 4 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 (the current FLT alignment). This will minimize impacts to the ESA and is a more appropriate placement for this trail type at the Forest-Community interface.

8)      The Doney Park Multi-modal study completed in 2011 recommends a FUTS type extension from the end of the FUTS at Snowflake, across Forest Service land to the intersection of Townsend-Winona Road. The analysis for this folds perfectly into the MEDL planning.

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.


FBO’s Letter to Mayor and City Council regarding the “Y” and “Buffalo Park Annex” properties.

October 28th, 2013

PDF Document here

October 1st, 2013

Mayor Nabours and Flagstaff City Council
211 West Aspen Street

City Hall Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Honorable Mayor and City Council-

We are writing to express concern that the Schultz Parcel and the 26-Acre parcel that is known as the North San Francisco Street parcel or Buffalo Park Annex are potentially being considered for sale. It was our understanding that the Schultz parcel was removed from consideration for sale in a January Council vote, and that the City Open Spaces Commission has recommended both of these properties for designation as Open Space. It is our current understanding that some on the Council may intend to vote to designate this as “surplus property” thus opening these parcels up for potential sale. We want to express that we are not opposed to selling portions of these properties as long as the fundamental character of the properties and trail access are not compromised. We recognize that there may be a reasonable approach that serves all of the varied interests.

Flagstaff Biking Organization (FBO) is a group of cyclists who came together to “promote bicycling as a safe and attractive means of transportation and recreation in Northern Arizona.” Our initial project was to put on a Bike to Work Week for our community in May 2002. Building on the success we started to expand our efforts to keep people informed of cycling related issues and galvanize support for better and safer facilities, trails, and trail access. We represent as many as 300 paid members and many, many more cyclists. Please see http://flagstaffbiking.org/about-fbo/ for more information.

Our concerns stem from the potential for adverse impacts to bicycle access to trails and public land and open space that could occur if these two parcels were sold entirely into private ownership.

We support that the North San Francisco/Elk’s Lodge Property should be annexed, either entirely or in part, into Buffalo Park. This is a prime piece of land and would better serve the people of Flagstaff if it were incorporated into Buffalo Park. The Regional Plan reflects the eventual establishment of FUTS across this parcel. We strongly support the build-out of the FUTS trail.

The Schultz “Y” property already has a very high level of social use as the de facto parking lot at the intersection of Elden Look Out and Schultz Pass Roads and is one of Flagstaff’s most publicly used staging areas for trail use in the Mount Elden/Dry Lake hills area. (Please see attached photos.)

There is a Forest Service Proposed Action for recreation planning in the Mount Elden Dry Lake Hills area that will shortly be out for public comment. Many members of the community of Flagstaff will be supporting the concept of an Intergovernmental Agreement between the City of Flagstaff and Coconino National Forest in order to create and manage a trail head on the Schultz parcel, thereby addressing the need for a sanctioned four-season access point to the Forest Service trail system.

FBO, Coconino County, the US Forest and the City of Flagstaff are partners through a Memorandum of Understanding. The stated purpose of this MOU is to “establish a framework of cooperation upon which mutually beneficial non-motorized trail systems may be planned, funded, developed and maintained.”

It is our goal to participate in the coordination of this effort and help to find ways to fund the creation and maintenance of this facility. This cooperatively developed use concept would provide a better quality recreational experience for the Flagstaff community, protect resources, and cannot happen if this property is sold into private ownership.

We would suggest that if portions of these parcels are sold into private ownership that stipulations on the development of these properties could be included to build not only FUTS trails, as has been done in the past, but trail heads and perhaps other public amenities, thus removing the financial burden for these from the public. This seems like a fair requirement given the premium value that these lands hold.

In summary, we want to emphasize that it is precisely because of the access to open space and public land for all kinds of recreation that Flagstaff is such a desirable place to live. It is as a direct result of the improvement upon, and expansion of, the opportunities to recreate on trails and open spaces that so many people and businesses have chosen to situate here. Continued build-out of prime pieces of property that reduce the opportunities to access these resources will devalue the quality of life in our community and diminish the value of this place to the sorts of people and businesses that will help our town to grow and thrive. It is the responsibility of the Council to see to it that our community is afforded the best possible planning decisions to support continued growth that adds value to the experience of living in Flagstaff.

We are not opposed to the sale of other properties as appropriate to fund the City’s needs, but we do need to state our concerns regarding actions the City takes that may adversely affect bicycle access.

In conclusion we respectfully request that the City Council permanently protect the North San Francisco Street/Buffalo Park Annex and Schultz “Y” parcels, either entirely or in part, as Open Space with trail heads and trail access.

Thank you for your consideration-

s/Anthony Quintile

for the Board of Flagstaff Biking Organization”

UPDATED-Help protect the Schultz “Y” and Buffalo Park Annex City Property from being sold! (AGAIN)

October 25th, 2013

UPDATE- We have received some clarification on this issue. Current Open Space Commission and City staff recommendations include open space designation and only partial sale of these parcels. Our primary concerns are that the lands maintain their current character and that access to trails and open space is maintained, which could be achieved through these recommendations.We will be staying engaged on this issue and we are writing the City Council to emphasize our concerns, as the Council will ultimately decide the disposition of these properties, and they may still disagree with staff and Commission recommendations. We will publish the content of that letter here once it is completed.

Attendance of the meeting mentioned below, and/or letters to the City Council are still necessary!

The Schultz “Y” de facto trail head land and the Buffalo Park Annex land are again under consideration for sale.

Please attend the City Council work session, Monday, October 28th at 4:00 pm, Flagstaff City Hall.

Your attendance is urgently needed to demonstrate again that these parcels are valued by the citizens of Flagstaff as open space, and potentially as a designated trail head, and not as more housing and roads!

As you may be aware, moves were made earlier this year to try to put these parcels up for sale. On very short notice we were able to get quite a few folks to show up in opposition to this.

We need your help again, and with more time this time, we are really hoping to pack the council chambers in order to put a finer point on this message.

If you are unable to attend, (but we stress that this is extremely important!), please email the Flagstaff City Council members at council@flagstaffaz.gov .

Join Flagstaff Biking for First Friday Art Walk at Mountain Sports

October 3rd, 2013

Join Flagstaff Biking Organization this Friday night, October 4th, at Mountain Sports for First Friday Art Walk! Enjoy some fine New Belgium Brewing Company beer as you talk to our board about our programs and upcoming projects! Also, as part of Advocate Weeks, if you purchase a pair of Patagonia footwear between October 4th and 18th, Patagonia and Mountain Sports will donate $20 to Flagstaff Biking Organization for every pair sold! You can also enter to win a free pair of Patagonia footwear while you’re there! We hope you’ll join us for a wonderful fall evening in Flagstaff!

UPDATED! Trail Day! October 12th, Roger’s Lake Trails Construction!

September 30th, 2013

Because those jerks in Washington DC have closed the Federal Government, thereby preventing us from working with our friends on the local Flagstaff Ranger District, we will be working instead with our friends from Coconino County Parks and Recreation on the new Rogers Lake County Park Trails! Thanks to the County for stepping up on short notice!

October 12th, Roger’s Lake Trails

Help build a new trails at the new County Park at Roger’s Lake

This is a great new addition to the Flagstaff Trail system that will allow more exploration of the Forest to the west of Flagstaff and the Roger’s Lake area.

Click here for a map to the meeting location.

The meeting location will be 8 miles from Rte. 66 on Woody Mountain Road, (gravel but easily 2 wheel drive accessible), at Roger’s Lake.

What to bring and other details:

All Trail events start at 8:30 am and conclude with lunch at 1:00 pm unless otherwise noted. Coffee will be served between 8:00 am and 8:30 am, and snacks, beverages, tasty lunch and FUN are all provided.

Sponsored by:

Specialized Bikes

For more information on this trail day event, contact: info@flagstaffbiking.org

Trail Day! Sunset Trail Maintenance, September 28th

September 10th, 2013

September 28th, Sunset Trail maintenance

We will be executing some much needed maintenance and refining of the layout of Sunset Trail just below the first “summit”. It will be a bit of a hike in, but hopefully our work will make this section drain better and ride better.

With the significant monsoon this year, all of the trails need a little help! Please help by doing your part to put a little back into the Dry Lake Hills system.

What to bring and other details:

All Trail events start at 8:30 am and conclude with lunch at 1:00 pm unless otherwise noted. Coffee will be served between 8:00 am and 8:30 am, and snacks, beverages, tasty lunch and FUN are all provided.

We will be working from the Schultz Pass/Sunset Trailhead area. Drive up Schultz Pass Road, (High clearance recommended), roughly 4 1/2 miles. Meeting location and parking will be signed.

Click here for a Google Map to the meeting location.

Huge thanks to our sponsors!

For more information on this trail day event, contact: trails@flagstaffbiking.org