When we posted this initially, we were responding to a personal plea from Coconino County Supervisor, Matt Ryan, who has been shepherding this land purchase for several years. He was responding to County staff’s understanding from the State Land Department that this land would be available to anyone at public auction, which is technically true.
One of our members read the entire Auction Notice closely, (something which apparently County Staff had not done well enough), and discovered this clause…
“The use of the subject property shall be restricted to use for County or Municipal purposes only. In the event these lands cease to be put to the above referenced purpose, said real property shall immediately revert to the State Trust from which they are hereby conveyed…”
We immediately brought our concerns to Supervisor Ryan, who discussed this further with County Staff. He got back to us and expressed his sincerest apologies for accidentally “crying wolf” on this issue. He and County Staff had made the mistake of overlooking the implications of this part of the Auction Notice.
We will be publishing a letter from Supervisor Ryan shortly with his explanation of the scenario.
Thanks to everyone who was prepared to step up and support Fort Tuthill! The auction will still be held, and you are still welcome and encouraged to attend this momentous occasion to celebrate!
Original post below for reference…
On Wednesday, October 19 at 11:00 am on the west front steps of the Coconino County Courthouse in Flagstaff 200 North San Francisco St., the Arizona State Land Department will be auctioning off the parcel of land that comprises the northwest corner of Fort Tuthill. This is the piece of Fort Tuthill in the image to the right in dark green.
We need a big crowd of people to support the Coconino County bid to win this auction!
There is a very real chance that the County might be outbid by a private land developer. Unlike other similar auctions for places like Picture Canyon and Observatory Mesa the State did not see that this parcel qualified as a Conservation Easement, which would have made this land undesirable to private owners as it could not be built out.
If this land was purchased by a private developer a large piece of the Soldiers Trail and part of the Flagstaff Loop Trail could be closed at the whim of the new owner. This would cause a significant disconnect requiring a new NEPA Analysis to realign the Loop Trail, and dramatically shorten the Soldiers Trail Loop.
Additionally, homes or other development could be built up to the north and west boundary of the Fort Tuthill Bike Park.
We are hoping that a big crowd in support of the County’s bid will demonstrate the importance of this land and trails to the Flagstaff community and potentially help change any opposing bidders’ minds about investing in a potentially unpopular project.
Please make time on October 19th to show up and help save Fort Tuthill!