The Coconino National Forest has 1.8 million acres which vary from semi-arid desert through ponderosa pine forests to alpine tundra. Elevation ranges from 2,600 feet in canyon bottoms to 12,643 feet at the top of the San Francisco Peaks. Horseback riding, hiking, bicycling, driving, skiing...however you choose to go, you'll enjoy your visit to the Coconino National Forest!

 

 

Help Build Griffith Springs Trail

Flagstaff, Arizona -- As part of National Trails Day, the Mormon Lake and Peaks Ranger Districts are sponsoring a volunteer trail event on Saturday, June 5, 1999 at Griffith Springs Trail. The trail is a new 1.5 mile long accessible trail, leading to the Griffith Springs Environmental Study Area.

The meeting place is on the east side of Highway 89A, about 1/4 mile south of the Forest Highlands entrance. Signs will be posted to direct folks to a parking area, near the MCS Stables. Work will start at 9 a.m., followed by a free barbecue lunch around 1:30 p.m. for all participants.

Volunteers planning to attend are asked to call Brian Poturalski or Martin Flynn at 520-526-0866 so lunch arrangements can be made.

The Griffith Springs Project will include the trail, a parking area, toilet, picnic tables and interpretive signs when completed.
 

May 26, 1999

Beaver Creek/ Sedona Ranger District

Contact: Terrilyn Green or Connie Birkland, 520-282-4119

Overnight Camping and Campfires In Sedona -Not What It Used to Be

Sedona, Arizona -- Campers coming to the Coconino National Forest in the Sedona area this Memorial Day weekend and in the near future may find camping is not what it used to be. Their favorite camping spots outside developed campgrounds may no longer be available. New camping and campfire restrictions surrounding Sedona have been in effect since January of this year. "We want visitors to understand these changes, why it is necessary and how they can help protect this spectacular place they come to visit" says Ken Anderson, District Ranger.

Camping and campfires are prohibited in undeveloped areas such as Schnebly Hill Road below the rim, Dry Creek area south of Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness, Oak Creek Canyon and areas adjacent to the Village of Oak Creek and City of Sedona. The intent is to reduce increasing impacts to this fragile desert environment to protect soil, vegetation, water quality, wildlife habitat and inherent scenic qualities. Amendment 12 of the Coconino National Forest Plan emphasizes day use recreation and approves these camping and campfire closures to protect unique values around Sedona.

Campgrounds in Oak Creek Canyon and the Verde Valley are available and most are first come, first serve. Some reservations can be made at Cave Springs and Pine Flat campgrounds through a national reservation system at 1-877-444-6777. It is advisable to call as far in advance as possible for available sites. For further information on camping areas, campgrounds, or web-sites, please contact the Sedona District office at 520-282-4119.
 

May 24, 1999

Contact: Karen Malis-Clark, 520-527-3492

Don't Get Burned on Memorial Day Holiday

Flagstaff, Arizona -- The Memorial Day Holiday weekend is an important time for remembering the people who have served our country, and passed loved ones. It is also a popular time for families to get together for picnicking, hiking, camping or perhaps taking a road trip to one of Arizona's many great outdoor locations. The crackle of a small campfire and the pungent smell of woodsmoke sets the perfect mood for a relaxed conversation at the end of the day. But that fire could be dangerous, and left unattended it could result in a tragic wildfire charring thousands of acres.

"Due to the dry conditions around the state, the chance of starting a wildland fire makes this three-day weekend a period of dangerous encounters for the public lands," said Jim Golden, Supervisor of the Coconino National Forest. "We hope people will enjoy their National Forests, but we are in high fire danger, and we can't stress enough the importance of being careful with fire," he said.

Golden said that although there are fire restrictions on several National Forests in Arizona, currently this does not apply to the Coconino or Kaibab National Forests. However, fuel moisture levels are well below normal, and if the dry weather and brisk winds continue, there is potential for a very active fire season to begin in the next couple of weeks.

"Now is the time for everyone to practice good fire safety," said Connie Frisch, Supervisor of the Kaibab National Forest. "We urge everyone to follow basic fire safety rules when camping or visiting the out of doors." Frisch suggested the following tips to make this a fire-safe holiday:

  • Take personal responsibility to prevent wildland fires.
  • Delay starting a campfire until there is little or no wind.
  • Always drown and stir your campfire until it is dead out before leaving your campsite.
  • Create a fire-safe zone around your home and property by removing brush and debris.
  • Never toss smoking materials and matches from your vehicle.
  • Do not park or drive over areas with dry grass and other vegetation.

"Arizona's fire management teams are carefully monitoring the fire situation," Frisch said. "It is important for each of us to assist in the protection of these valuable and beautiful landscapes." To receive an up-to-date report on fire restrictions for National Forests, National Parks, State Lands, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and State Parks administered lands in Arizona and New Mexico, call toll free 1-877-864-6985 or visit the Southwest Area's Wildland Fire Operations website at  

May 20, 1999

Contact: Karen Malis-Clark, 520-527-3492

Ideas for Change in the Flagstaff/Lake Mary Ecosystem

Flagstaff, Arizona -- Changes are needed in the forest around Flagstaff. The Ideas for Change booklet examines possible changes and is available for public review and comment. Copies are at the Coconino National Forest Supervisor's Office, 2323 E. Greenlaw Lane; Peaks Ranger District, 5075 N. Highway 89; and Mormon Lake Ranger District, 4373 S. Lake Mary Road.

The booklet is a combination of ideas addressing ecosystem health, access, recreation, minerals, land exchange, electronic sites and water resources in the 204,000 acres of National Forest land surrounding Flagstaff. The Forest Service developed Ideas for Change as part of the Flagstaff/Lake Mary Ecosystem Analysis (FLEA). Information and trends about current situations are provided, in addition to options for future management. Comments received will help create a more comprehensive Proposed Action planned for release in late summer of 1999.

Three Open Houses are planned, providing opportunities to view detailed maps, visit with Forest Service personnel and offer comments. They are:

  • Wednesday, May 26 at Flagstaff High School Commons, 4 to 8 p.m. Coincides with the Flagstaff and Coconino County Regional Land Use and Transportation Plan Meeting.
  • Thursday, May 27 at Cromer School in Doney Park, 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 3 at the Highlands Fire Station in Kachina Village, 5 to 8 p.m.

Change can be difficult, but it's happening whether directed or not. Imagine the forest around Flagstaff in 15 years without taking proactive measures, then imagine how it could be if changes can begin now, while many opportunities are still open.

Comments are most useful if received by June 30th. Ideas for Change can be viewed at the website www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/flea.html. Comments can be sent to the e-mail address flea/r3_coconino@fs.fed.us. (Please note that the e-mail address printed in Ideas for Change is incorrect.) Copies of the booklet are also at the Flagstaff and Northern Arizona University libraries.  Speakers are available for presentations to community groups and organizations. Call Alvin Brown or Debbie Kill at the Peaks Ranger District, 520-526-0866, to request a speaker or with any questions.


 

May 17, 1999

Contact: Karen Malis-Clark, 520-527-3492

Firewood for Commercial Sale

Flagstaff, Arizona -- The Mormon Lake Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest is offering 260 CCF (hundred cubic feet) (approximately 329 cords) of green pinyon-juniper firewood for commercial sale. The wood will be sold in four separate sales ranging in size from 57 CCF to 76 CCF.

Initial bids, to be followed by oral auction, will be accepted at the Mormon Lake Ranger Station, 4373 S. Lake Mary Road, Flagstaff, prior to 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 8, 1999.

Interested parties are invited to inspect the area prior to submitting bids. The sale area is located approximately 5 miles south of Winona off Forest Road 82. Full information concerning the sale and submission of bids is available from the Mormon Lake Ranger District, phone 520-774-1147.
 

May 13, 1999

Contact: Terry Adams or Connie Birkland, 520-282-4119

Friends of the Forest Receive National Recognition

Sedona, Arizona -- Congratulations to Friends of the Forest in their acceptance of the 1999 National Forest Service Chief's Award for exemplary volunteer services. Friends of the Forest are a non-political group dedicated to assisting the Forest Service in the mission of "Caring for the land and serving the people". A ceremony was held Tuesday, May 11, at the Beaver Creek Ranger Station with the Friends Board of Directors and leadership team from the Southwest Region and Coconino National Forest. The award was presented to Justine Kusner, President of the Friends of the Forest, by Jim Golden, Forest Supervisor of the Coconino National Forest and Paul Johnson, Deputy Regional Forester of the Southwest Region.

Friends of the Forest are one of two award recipients in Arizona and New Mexico to receive the 1999 National Sponsored Volunteer Award. Over ninety volunteer nominations were submitted nationally in various award categories. "We are proud to have the Friends assisting us in the Sedona area and wish we could duplicate them in many other areas," said Golden.

Friends of the Forest spend much of their time assisting the Forest Service in maintaining, protecting and restoring the cultural and natural resources of the area. "Our members come from all walks of life and bring with them a diversity of talent. Our motivation to be of service comes from within and we work willingly, expecting no reward other than a friendly hello or thank you. We go home with the satisfaction of a job well done," said Kusner.

In 1998, the Friends donated over 11,000 volunteer hours. These dedicated individuals patrol the forest, construct and maintain trails, provide wilderness work by horseback, serve as visitor information specialists, pick up litter, protect and monitor cultural resource sites, provide interpretative programs, conduct routine water sampling and assist in a variety of special projects. "We are a family here, working together to get things done," said Terry Adams, Volunteer Coordinator for the Beaver Creek/ Sedona Ranger District.
 

May 12, 1999

Contact: Cathy Taylor, 520-477-2255

Forest Service Seeks Public Comment on Rangeland and Watershed Management

Flagstaff, Arizona -- The Blue Ridge District of the Coconino National Forest seeks comments on a Proposed Action for Rangeland and Watershed Management on the Buck Springs Range Allotment. The proposal includes management of about 70,000 acres of National Forest lands in the southeastern portion of the National Forest, near the Mogollon Rim and Blue Ridge Reservoir.

An environmental analysis is being undertaken to analyze the effects of livestock grazing and to revise the existing allotment management plan to better address ecosystem management goals for a period of ten years. Poor watershed conditions in the riparian areas and headwater meadows of the allotment are driving the proposal, and many actions specific to riparian areas and meadows are recommended.

Part of the environmental analysis includes gathering public comments about the proposed action. Copies of the proposed action are available for review at the Blue Ridge Ranger District Office and the Happy Jack Information Center. You may request a copy by calling (520) 477-2255.

For more information about the Proposed Action for Rangeland and Watershed Management on the Buck Springs Range Allotment, contact Cathy Taylor, Project Leader, at the Blue Ridge Ranger District, HC 31, Box 300, Happy Jack, AZ 86024; Phone (520) 477-2255; Fax (520) 527-8218; E-Mail cathy.taylor/r3_coconino_blueridge@fs.fed.us. Written comments can be addressed to Larry Sears, District Ranger at the above address. Comments should arrive on or before June 1, 1999 to be most effective, and will be used to develop alternatives to this proposal.
 

May 11, 1999

Contact: Karen Malis-Clark, 520-527-3492 or Alan Farnsworth, 520-527-8229

Prescribed Burn Near Sunset Crater

Flagstaff, Arizona -- Fire management specialists from the Peaks Ranger District will conduct a prescribed burn near Sunset Crater on Wednesday and Thursday this week. If favorable weather and wind conditions allow, about two hundred acres will be ignited north of Flagstaff, between Sunset Crater and North Highway 89. The purpose of the burn is to improve habitat conditions for pronghorn antelope.
 

May 10, 1999

Contact: Karen Malis-Clark, 520-527-3492

Prescribed Fire near Mormon Lake

Flagstaff, Arizona -- Recent precipitation has created conditions that allow prescribed fire to be used as a tool for forest health. Coconino National Forest fire management specialists plan to burn about 1000 acres 4 miles southeast of Mormon Lake, beginning this week. Prescribed burning in spring rather than fall has several advantages. "Not only does spring mean higher moisture levels in large logs on the ground, but inversions are usually not as strong, so air quality is better," according to Larry McCoy, Assistant Fire Management Officer on the Mormon Lake Ranger District. This burning project will ignite several hundred acres a day, as weather conditions permit.
 

April 22, 1999

Contact: Raquel Poturalski, (520) 527-3490, Karen Malis-Clark, (520) 527-3492

Firewood Cutting Season Begins

Flagstaff, Arizona -- Firewood permits are now available at Coconino National Forest Ranger Stations and at the Happy Jack Information Center. Muddy road conditions may delay access to some areas of the forest. Forest Service Ranger Stations or the Happy Jack Information Center have updates on forest conditions and roads that may be closed.

A permit for down and dead wood is $5.00 per cord with a minimum permit of $20.00 for 4 cords and a maximum permit of 10 cords per individual or household. These permits allow for the following:

1. Any dead wood lying on the ground may be removed.

2. Dead standing pinyon and juniper can be cut regardless of size unless there is obvious use by wildlife.

3. No standing oak may be cut due to its value for wildlife in the forest.

4. Standing dead aspen may be cut from June 1 to September 30.

A free use permit may be obtained for specified areas and types of wood. This permit allows an individual or household to cut a maximum of five cords of wood.

For more information, call: (open Monday - Friday unless otherwise indicated)

Blue Ridge Ranger Station, Happy Jack, AZ - (520) 477-2255

Happy Jack Information Center, Happy Jack, AZ - (520) 477-2172; open 7 days a week.

Mormon Lake Ranger Station, Flagstaff, AZ - (520) 774-1147

Peaks Ranger Station, Flagstaff, AZ - (520) 526-0866

Sedona Ranger Station, Sedona, AZ - (520) 282-4119; open Monday - Saturday.

Verde Ranger Station, Camp Verde, AZ - (520) 567-4121.
 

April 15, 1999

Contact: Beth Humphrey, 520-477-2255, Karen Malis-Clark, 520-527-3492

Forest Service Seeks Public Comment on Allotment Management Plans

Flagstaff, Arizona -- The Blue Ridge and Mormon Lake Ranger Districts of the Coconino National Forest, in coordination with the Diablo Trust, will host an Open House on April 21, 1999 to hear comments about their proposal for revision of the allotment management plans on the Bar T Bar and Anderson Springs Allotments. The proposal includes management of over 275,000 acres of National Forest lands, including much of the area between Mormon Lake and Winslow.

In January, 1999, the Diablo Trust, a collaborative land management group, presented the Forest Service with The Diablo Trust Area - Range Management Plan and Proposed Action. An environmental analysis is being completed to analyze the effects of livestock grazing and to revise the existing allotment management plans to better address ecosystem management goals on federal lands within the Diablo Trust Area for a period of ten years.

Part of the environmental analysis includes gathering public comments about the proposed action. One opportunity for the public to learn about the project and to offer comments on the proposed action will be at an Open House being held on April 21, 1999. The Open House will be at Flagstaff City Hall, 211 W. Aspen Ave., from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A short presentation will be given at the beginning of the Open House to familiarize attendees with the proposed action, followed by an opportunity to visit with Forest Service resource specialists and Diablo Trust members to learn more about the Diablo Trust, the Bar T Bar and Anderson Springs Allotments, and the management activities being proposed.

Analysis of livestock grazing on the Bar T Bar and Anderson Springs Allotments is timely based on coordination of livestock management already occurring on these two allotments. The formation of the Diablo Trust and it's designation as a government reinvention laboratory provide a means of revising the allotment management plans utilizing innovative methods. The ongoing collaboration with a variety of interests in the community has resulted in a proposed action that addresses natural resource, social, and economic issues in the Diablo Trust Area.

Copies of the proposed action are available for review throughout the month of April at several locations, including: Blue Ridge Ranger District, Happy Jack Information Center, Mormon Lake Ranger District, Peaks Ranger District, Coconino National Forest Supervisor's Office, and Coconino County/ Flagstaff Public Library. The proposed action is also available for review through the Diablo Trust's website, http://www.for.nau.edu/forestry/diablo_trust.

For more information about the Bar T Bar and Anderson Springs Allotment Management Plan, contact Beth Humphrey, Project Leader, at the Blue Ridge Ranger District, HC 31, Box 300, Happy Jack, AZ 86024; Phone (520) 477-2255; Fax (520) 527-8218; E-Mail elizabeth.humphrey/r3_coconino_blueridge@fs.fed.us. Written comments can be addressed to Larry Sears, District Ranger at the above address.