On Wednesday night, city officials along with members of the Sierra Club, the American Conservation Club and other environmental groups held a forum at FHS to unveil the Flagstaff Trails Initiative to the public. The initiative's goals are to improve and expand the trails in and around Flagstaff.
Attendees had a variety of activities to participate and learn from; ranging from organization and group booths promoting a variety of environmental projects and funds, activities, and a presentation about the initiative.
The meeting started with a welcoming group from a multitude of people from the organizations at the meeting and even City Council members. All of who explained why they find trails important and also why this initiative is important to save and help preserve the forests, trails, and nature around Flagstaff.
Coconino County supervisor Matt Ryan explained to those gathered that to improve Flagstaff's trails it will require a collaborative effort.
“If you take a look at all the different organizations and all of you who come out, there’s ton of tremendous work. Work to coordinate the trail process and help us out as we’ve grown.” said Ryan.
After the other speakers helped introduce the initiative, the core group responsible for FTI introduced themselves and began laying out their plans.
Their main goal to improve and maintain trails and the people who use them, focusing on sustainability of the trails for bikers, ATV riders, equestrians and hikers while also reducing impact on the environment.
Another part of the FTI was trail system planning. After having cataloged both official and unofficial trails, the hope is to discover how trails both affect and are affected by the community.
Financial sustainability was another topic of discussion. The FTI aims to establish inter-agency financial agreement, be transparent about where funding is coming from and generate more new revenue with new fundraising ideas for trail projects.
The conservation and restoration section aimed to help people understand the effect of trails on the environment. Prediction of environmental impact was also forefront.
Organizers ended the forum by gathering public input for potential new trails and maintenance projects.