By: Linda Pallas
Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund is kicking off our 2022 Year-End Fund Drive with various appeals to the community. It is important that anyone who loves the Red Rock Trails and wants to donate is made aware of our efforts.
Our community thrives in many ways because of our trails that drive our economy and enhance our lives. However, our trails are fragile, requiring frequent and ongoing maintenance. The Forest Service cannot do it alone, so SRRTF, seeks contributions through grants and private donors to provide 65-70% of annual trail maintenance funding needs.
This year, the first $12,000 donated October through December is boosted by a 1:1 MATCH being pledged by four individuals in our community who love the Red Rock Trails and who have combined their resources to provide this generous incentive to all.
Trail maintenance is hard work and very costly, so every dollar counts. And everyone’s donation is important. We have seen in so many ways our community and personal health depend on the health of our trail system. Donations go directly to hire crews and to support volunteers who maintain the trails for our future use.
Current Projects for Trail Field Work
Cathedral Rock Trail-Phase 4This project will restore the last section of Cathedral Rock Trail, from Switchback Staircase to End of Trail that is suffering from damage via washouts and erosion. The Cathedral Rock Trail has always presented a challenge to Forest Service trail managers due to its steep terrain, frequent “washouts”, and rock construction requirements. So, Forest Service began a comprehensive reconstruction project last year, completing 3 phases of work: Phase 1 – Fall 2021 Lower Section (Back-O-Beyond Trailhead to Templeton Trail), Phase 2 – Winter 2022 Middle Section (Templeton to Slick Rock Climb), Phase 3 – Spring 2022 Begin the Upper Section (Slick Rock to Switchback Staircase).
Phase 4 – Winter 2022-2023 Switchback Staircase to End of Trail is scheduled soon. Forest Service has asked SRRTF to partner on the project to complete the technically challenging rock armoring and masonry sections of the work. Donations to Cathedral Rock Trail-Phase 4 will help repair and reconstruct the trail to be more sustainable.Comprehensive Trail Assessment In recent years, Red Rock Country has seen more dramatic weather conditions. Drought has created extreme dry conditions making soils more vulnerable to substantial damage caused by heavy monsoon rains and devastating flash floods.
To address the damage and create a sustainable program of trail maintenance, the Forest Service and the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund are currently conducting a comprehensive field assessment. The data from the assessment will be used to develop recommendations for future maintenance for the approximately 200 miles of high impact trails in Red Rock Trail System.
SRRTF has already received substantial funding for this project from generous individuals in Sedona and VOC. We are seeking donations to fund the remaining costs.
Donations to Comprehensive Trail Assessment will contribute to a comprehensive trail assessment and maintenance plan.
Red Rock Trail Census Project: Who is using the trails? How, when and how many? This unique and strategic project will count users and collect information about current trail usage in the District. Recognizing that trail usage has changed over time, RRRD seeks to identify current variations through specific data collection and understand the impact of current trends so to better address and serve the needs created by these changes.
The project will provide Forest Service managers and partners with improved data about trails that can be used in future budgeting, staffing, grant seeking, enhanced public service, and more targeted maintenance. Information from this project will contribute to the development of an improved Trail Maintenance Plan for the Red Rock Ranger District.
Donations to Red Rock Trail Census Project will help Forest Managers understand current trends to provide enhanced public service and more targeted maintenance.
Archaeology Survey for RRRD The Forest Service seeks to improve the non-motorized trail system within the District. Prior to making certain improvements in specified areas, archaeological surveys must be conducted in compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). This project responds to increasing demand for sustainable non-motorized trail recreation on National Forest within the District.
To assist the RRRD, the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund will be stepping in to help cover costs for NEPA surveys in the following areas:
Doe Mesa, Hardline, Rector Bypass Trail, Scheurman Mountain, Single-Track Bypass, Turkey Creek. To see maps of each of these areas, visit our website at RedRockTRailFund.org. Scroll “Current Projects” and click “Archaeological Survey for RRRD.” On that page you can click on maps for each of the trail areas listed above.
The great majority of donations keeping trails local healthy are from individuals who care about the trails they use.