ALBUQUERQUE — The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) will host six public meetings in August throughout Arizona to discuss development of a comprehensive plan for the Arizona National Scenic Trail.
The comprehensive plan is being developed in partnership with the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Arizona State Parks, local governments, and the Arizona Trail Association. The plan will guide management of the trail for the next 15 to 20 years.
The Arizona National Scenic Trail stretches over 800 miles from Mexico to the Utah border. Thousands of hikers, runners, mountain bicyclists, and horseback riders enjoy the trail each year. It stretches through seven Arizona counties, four National Forests, one state park, four National Park Service sites including Grand Canyon National Park, and two Bureau of Land Management units. The Arizona National Scenic Trail was added to the National Trails System by Congress in 2009. It is one of only 11 National Scenic Trails nationwide.
“This trail has been a community project from day one,” said Laura White, Forest Service Trail administrator. “We hope supporters of the trail will take this opportunity to help us craft a long-term vision for its management and protection.”
All public meetings are open house format and run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A short presentation on the plan will begin at 6 p.m. Meeting dates and locations are:
Payson, Ariz. Aug. 8, 2017 Julia Randall Elementary School Gymnasium 600 S Green Valley Pkwy.
Kanab, Utah Aug. 9, 2017 Kanab City Library Multipurpose Room 374 N Main St.
Flagstaff, Ariz. Aug. 10, 2017 Flagstaff Aquaplex Community Meeting Room A 1702 N. Fourth St.
Tucson, Ariz. Aug. 15, 2017 Patrick K. Hardesty Midtown Multi-Service Center 1100 S Alvernon Way
Superior, Ariz. Aug. 16, 2017 Superior Chamber of Commerce 165 Main St.
Tempe, Ariz. Aug. 17, 2017 Pyle Adult Education Center Multipurpose Room B 655 E Southern Ave.
Topics covered at each meeting include trail management, connectivity with local communities, access for recreation, and long-term protection. Attendees will be able to review the preliminary Forest Service proposed action and provide feedback.
The meetings are scheduled during a 60-day comment period that begin August 1.
More information on the Arizona National Scenic Trail Comprehensive Plan can be found at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/azt/land-resources-management/.