Coconino NF seeks input on Mt. Elden/Dry Lake Hills project

Release Date: Jun 1, 2021

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., June 1, 2021 — The Coconino National Forest is seeking public input on a proposed project to improve non-motorized trails in the Mt. Elden/ Dry Lake Hills area just outside the city of Flagstaff.

The Mt. Elden/Dry Lake Hills (MEDL) Recreation Planning Project includes proposed trail construction, relocation, re-routes, closures and improvements. It includes the construction and improvements of trailheads and will make improvements in the Mt. Elden Environmental Study Area. It also aims to identify appropriate trail systems for special-use permit events.

As the most popular and heavily used recreation area on the Flagstaff Ranger District, frequent use of the MEDL area has led to both deteriorating conditions on existing trails as well as a system of unauthorized trails.

In addition to developing a premier trail system, the MEDL project will also respond to ongoing negative impacts from unsustainable recreational uses, which affect natural resources such as wildlife, watershed and soil conditions, recreational experience, and vegetation.

The proposed plan has been modified based on comments received during last fall’s scoping period, in addition to numerous meetings with partners and stakeholders. The goal of the MEDL plan is to protect natural land and cultural resources while providing opportunities for forest visitors to enjoy public land.

The public comment period will run for 30 days, from June 1 to July 1.

An environmental analysis, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, has been prepared and can be found on the Coconino National Forest’s website.

The Coconino National Forest will hold several informational events throughout the 30-day comment period, as listed below. Advance registration is not required.

  • 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 5: Forest Service representatives will staff a kiosk located at “The Y” Schultz Creek Natural Area, at the intersection of Mount Elden Lookout and Schultz Pass roads
  • 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday, June 20: Forest Service staff will be available at the Flagstaff Community Market farmers market, located at City Hall, 211 W. Aspen Ave.
  • 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 22: Forest Service staff will be available at the Ramadas at Buffalo Park, located at 2400 N. Gemini Road

In addition, timely, project-specific written comments can be submitted online. Comments must be received by June 30 to be considered for analysis.

Only those who submit comments -- as defined by 36 CFR 218.2 -- will be eligible to file an objection after a draft decision notice is issued, which is anticipated to happen during the summer of 2021.

For additional information, please contact Environmental Coordinator Christine Handler at 559-920-2188 or christine.handler@usda.gov, or Recreation Staff Pat McGervey at 928-526-0866 or patrick.mcgervey@usda.gov



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