County News

The community is stepping up to the challenge of maintaining Sedona’s trail system.

The Sedona Trail Keeper project donated a $250,000 check to the U.S. Forest Service on March 21 at the Girdner Trailhead near the Sedona Cultural Park.

The donation was organized by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and inspired by efforts of the Red Rock Trail Fund, which was represented at the ceremony. The money will be used for area trail maintenance.

The donation comes from 25 individuals or businesses each donating $1,000 per year for five years. This will then have matching city funds. The ceremonial check was for the total amount, though this is the first year of donations.

Linda Rogers was one of those donors. Though from her personal funds, she decided to give it in her real estate company’s name.

“It feels like purchasing my Red Rock Pass isn’t enough,” Rogers said.

She said she was an avid trail user and wanted to give back to the area. Her favorite hikes were Cibola Trail for its proximity to her home, West Fork because it’s family friendly and an iconic trail and Little Horse. Little Horse gives Rogers a particular sense of pride as she often hikes to destinations where Jeep tours stop.

“I walked there, whereas the Jeeps drove,” she said.

District Ranger Nicole Branton was there to accept the check. She said the USFS expects trail use to continue to climb and pointed to a rise in visitor center visits which she said likely correlate to higher hiking rates. She also said that these funds were needed, especially with budgets that are dependent on federal whims.

Sedona Mayor Sandy Moriarty was also there, and said that this donation showed how much the community cares and that new, unconventional partnerships — which she described as the chamber and the USFS — can lead to more sustainable infrastructure.

Donors will now have a logo, designed by Wib Middleton, to help market the Trail Keeper effort. For more information on joining the Sedona Trail Keeper program, contact the Sedona Chamber of Commerce.


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