Forest Service Seeks Advice On Managing Arizona Trail

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The U.S. Forest Service on Wednesday evening will host a workshop at the Payson Public Library to get ideas from people about how to manage the stretch of the Arizona Trail that passes through Rim Country.

The Arizona Trail stretches 817 miles from the Arizona-Mexico border to the Arizona-Utah border. Designated a National Scenic Trail in 2009, it took 25 years to complete.

Flagstaff schoolteacher Dale Shewalter envisioned creating the ecologically and environmentally diverse trail after hiking from Nogales to the Utah border in the 1970s.

The Arizona Trail reached final completion on the centennial of the state, Feb. 14, with the help of hundreds of volunteers organized mostly by the Arizona Trail Association (http://www. aztrail.org/).

Now that the trail is complete, the Forest Service will take the lead on administering it and so will hold a series of workshops during the week of March 12.

The point of the workshops is to explain the planning process, describe existing conditions and listen to ideas from the public on how to maintain and manage the trail for the future.

The Forest Service will hold the public hearing from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 14 at the Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Road.

Please call Laura White, Arizona National Scenic Trail administrator, U.S. Forest Service, for additional information or to answer any questions at (520) 388-8328 or Laurawhite@fs.fed. us.

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