The Kaibab National Forest plans to host three public meetings next week to gather input from community members on the forest's recreation facilities.
Each ranger district will host a meeting with the goal of collecting as many public comments as possible on the forest's Recreation Facility Analysis process.
The goal of RFA is to improve the quality of recreation opportunities on the forest by creating a sustainable system of recreation sites that meets visitors' desires, expectations, and use.
"The value of recreation is so great and the benefits to communities, families and individuals so vital that we must continue to do all we can to improve access and availability of quality outdoor recreation for everyone," said Charlotte Minor, landscape architect for the Kaibab National Forest. "We work hard to ensure that the special places people enjoy are well-maintained and meet health and safety standards."
As part of the RFA process, the Kaibab National Forest is considering changes to the current recreation facilities system. These could include decommissioning (removing all facilities at) sites, adding or removing specific facilities at sites, changing days or seasons of use, increasing or decreasing concessionaire services, and adding volunteer or partnership opportunities to aid in facility management.
Kaibab National Forest personnel have proposed some very limited changes to existing recreation facilities.
During next week's public meetings, forest managers hope to hear specific input on those possible changes as well as any other comments people may have about the recreation system in general.
The Tusayan Ranger District hosts its RFA public meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Tusayan Ranger District office, Highway 64, Tusayan.
Specifically, the Tusayan Ranger District is seeking input on the Ten-X Campground Amphitheater, which is an area used to give interpretive programs, and the Old Charley Tank Group Site.
The district is considering managing these as dispersed sites rather than developed sites, meaning that facilities, such as restrooms, may be removed.
The amphitheater is in poor condition, and interpretive programs could be held in a different location within the campground or group site.
Most of the facilities at Old Charley Tank Group Site were already removed when the new group site was constructed.
On the North Kaibab Ranger District, the meeting is next Tuesday, 6 p.m., in the conference room at the North Kaibab Ranger District office, 430 S. Main St., Fredonia.
Specifically, the North Kaibab Ranger District is seeking input on Indian Hollow Campground.
The district is considering managing it as a dispersed site rather than a developed site, meaning that facilities, such as restrooms, may be removed.
If facilities are removed, the site would remain open as a recreation area, providing similar recreational opportunities, but in a more rustic setting.
While specific input at the public meetings will be valued, forest recreation managers are also seeking comments on any of the 47 developed recreation sites on the Kaibab National Forest.
"If you believe changes are needed to any of our developed recreation sites, we encourage you to share those with us at the public meetings,"
Minor said. "We want to improve the overall condition of our recreation sites. Many of these facilities were built 30 to 50 years ago. We need to better understand what people value, what people expect from our facilities, and even what disappoints them."