Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project Begins Near Schultz Creek Trailhead

Flagstaff, Ariz., As part of ongoing efforts in the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project, contractors will begin timber harvesting to thin trees on approximately 642 acres of National Forest in the Dry Lake Hills along Schultz Creek and the base of Mt. Elden. This work is supported by a $10 million city bond approved by voters in 2012.

Logging activities are necessary to reduce the risk of fire burning through the canopy of the forest, which could cause severe post-fire flooding into the City of Flagstaff. Heavy truck traffic will occur on Forest Road 557 and FR 180 as the logging trucks are traveling to Interstates 40 and 17 to the mills.

Previous work in this area included hand thinning and prescribed burning.

Construction of temporary roads will begin Friday and likely continue Saturday. The roads are needed to remove cut trees as part of this fuels reduction project. After completion of the project, temporary roads will be closed and revegetated or returned to their previous condition.

Trail usage changes:

  • Lower Oldham Trail will be closed.
  • Rocky Ridge Trail will be closed for the weekend
  • “Y” parking lot social trails near the Schultz Pass Rd and Mt. Elden Lookout Rd intersection.
  • Arizona National Scenic Trail will be re-routed to keep it open, which will detour the trail through town.

Road construction work is expected through August and logging operations will finish in December. These operations may involve closures of areas and trails as work progresses throughout the Dry Lake Hills area.

These closures will change as the project progresses and will be posted, to include maps, at the Forest information boards as well as online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/coconino or www.flagstaffwatershedprotection.org. As trails and areas are cleared, we will re-open them for public use as soon as they are safe. We will try our best to keep disruptions to a minimum.

Visitors and residents should use caution while in the area. Be aware of working crews, logging trucks and heavy equipment. The forest also presents overhead hazards, so look up frequently and stay safe.