Final decision scheduled for February, 2018: Implementation may take up to 10 years and depends on funding
The Verde Campus in Clarkdale may establish a trail head for the West Mingus Avenue trail, which is 22 miles of a possible 122 miles of new trails being proposed by the Prescott National Forest. If approved, the total project will take at least five and possibly up to ten years to complete. This is according to Prescott National Forest Verde Ranger District Recreation Program Director Thomas Palmer. Much will depend on funding and public input.
Initial public hearings were held May 24 (Camp Verde) and May 25 (Verde Campus). There is an environmental assessment to be completed by the end of September, 2017. A final public hearing on the 22-mile trail system connecting the trail to the Verde Campus property, if approved in concept, will be held in February, 2018.
The Prescott National Forest is accepting comments on the proposal through June 10, 2017. Public input will be incorporated into an environmental assessment. Note that the trails under consideration will be maintained by volunteers, according to the Forest Service.
The College was praised by the Forest Service for “allowing linkage of trails and establishment of a trail head for the West Mingus Avenue trail.” More detailed information about the public meetings about the trail system that took place on May 24 and 25 may be found in an article by Zachary Jernigan in the Cottonwood Journal Extra, June 7, 2017, p. 7A. (Not available online when this Blog post was made.)