Canceling our volunteer work projects over the past few months has been disheartening, and we are looking forward to a time when we will be able to invite you to get your hands dirty in a safe and healthy way again soon. The down time has allowed us to pursue a few other projects that have been on the backburner for some time. One of those is development of new trailhead signs for remote AZT trailheads statewide. We are excited to announce that we just put the finishing touches on new signs for the Kaibab Plateau Trailhead (Passage 40) and Murray Lake Trailhead (Passage 41) on the North Kaibab Ranger District.
These trailhead signs start with layers of information (topography, roads, trails, land management boundaries, etc.) compiled by our GIS Director, Aaron Seifert. Next, Shannon Villegas, the ATA’s Graphic Designer, brings the map to life by adding text, logos, and all of the little touches that make it visually appealing. Shannon also adds information boxes, including details about the Arizona Trail, the Arizona Trail Association, Leave No Trace Ethics, water sources, elevation profile and much more. Lastly, we invite a local artist to contribute original artwork of wildlife you’re likely to encounter while on this segment of trail. For these two signs, Rachel Ivanyi sketched a Northern Goshawk and Kaibab squirrel.
Look for these signs if you make it to the Kaibab Plateau this summer. At over 9,000 feet elevation, it’s a great place to escape the heat of lower elevations. It’s easy to find solitude on the Kaibab National Forest, too, so social distancing is never a problem.
Economic Value of Trails in Arizona
A new report is now available from Arizona State Parks and Trails and the University of Arizona highlighting the economic value of trails to Arizona residents, based on the benefits to those using them. Economic Value of Trails in Arizona – A Travel Cost Method Study estimates statewide demand for motorized and non-motorized trails and highlights the importance of providing trail-based recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Read the complete report here. The report will help trail advocates, stakeholders, land managers and trail users communicate the value that we place on the use of motorized and non-motorized trails. Additionally, this information can help guide public policy and investments by providing a framework to assess the benefits and costs of different actions affecting natural resources and amenities valued by the public. With many competing state priorities for support and funding, trails are often overlooked resources that have a direct, positive impact on the physical and mental well-being of Arizona's residents. During this pandemic, the benefits of trails and outdoor recreation have never been so clear – more people are getting outside to maintain mental health, keep active, enjoy fresh air, and find safe ways to get out of the house. This emphasizes the importance of working with trail advocates, land managers, private landowners and others to ensure that Arizona provides high quality, sought-after opportunities to recreate on trails throughout the state. Please review the report online and share it with others.
Outdoor Employment Opportunity
Borderlands Restoration Network (BRN) is seeking a full-time Field Technician to join their Watershed Restoration Program team in Patagonia, Arizona. Applicants should be interested in all aspects of restoration practices including native plant establishment, installing erosion controls structures, removing invasive plants, and supporting various restoration efforts. BRN employs a multi-pronged approach to restoration that strives to strengthen ecosystems from the ground up, restoring streams, supporting native vegetation, and enhancing habitat. This is a full-time (40 hour/week) position paying $15/hour. This position will face extreme weather, be physically challenged, work long days, and face the mental challenge of repetitive work which is crucial for success in conservation efforts. This is a highly demanding, outdoor position that requires a tolerance for weather conditions, and enthusiasm for working both independently and on a team. If you’re interested, learn more at the BRN website. Deadline for application is May 8th. Rogue Panda Designs is a proud supporter of the Arizona Trail Association. Based in Flagstaff, Rogue Panda Designs makes burly lightweight packs made in Arizona. From custom packs for long-distance bikepacking and their new ultralight Zoro backpack, each piece is made to fit you. Their gear is tested in the Grand Canyon and on the Arizona Trail, so it’s rugged enough to survive any of our planet’s most extreme environments. Learn more about their original designs and high quality workmanship by visiting their website.