Saturday, May 12, 2012

Here is our response to the Forest Service bringing in the Udall Group.

FEBRUARY 15, 2012
The meeting was called by Brooke W. because of the flood of e-mails seeking answers as to WHAT and WHY and HOW the Udall Environmental Conflict Resolution Institute was going to be used by the PNF  to deal with the trail issues.


There is concern about HOW the Institute will deal with the various trail user groups.  PSTC felt we had already “closed the door” on separating the groups where as the Institute wants to break the groups up into one-on-one sessions.

Betty Matthews noted it was better to cooperate with the Institute so they can get the “big picture” of how we get along and how we are working together to solve problems.

Betty noted her FS background of 23 years and that she has worked with the Institute before and felt them to be pro-active facillators when dealing with collaborative issues between user groups.

There was a lengthily discussion that the PTSC has already been a model for conflict resolution and has a history already of coming up with many solutions, actions plans, and activities to address the issues of the non-motorized, multi-user groups in the PNF.  It was noted that groups and specific persons have been invited to join the PTSC so their specific issues, concerns and suggestions to correct the conflict between groups would be heard and recognized.

PTSC also acknowledged that, now, the motorized trail users are also having safety issues and will, form now on, be included in the PTSC group

Betty continued to urge the PTSC to bring in the Institute to build a design for all the get together and build upon what the PTSC has already be doing.

Betty described a possible scenario of how the Institute might work.

  1. The five groups would be put  into each of their own discussion group. (Listening  sessions.)
    1. Equestrian
    2. Hikers
    3. Bikers
    4. Motorized
    5. The small group opposing  bikers on the trails.
2.        The ideas from these individual groups would be gathered, summarized and presented to                                                              the larger Collaborative (all groups) group for discussion
3.        From the Collaborative group, actions plans would be designed.
4.        The actions plans would be what the people/public support when thinking about the “bigger picture” of the PNF usage.  Then those actions plans would be assigned to which ever group would be responsible for their implementation.

The Listening Sessions will be conducted by the facilitator to give people a “safe place” to talk, without fear off intimidation, or of not being heard and would feel free to state what their issues are, what their solutions are, and list what they want to talk about in the larger collaborative group.
The Collaborative session will be facilitated by the Institute leaders so emotions won’t take over and all voices will be heard.

It was again noted that the PTSC has already been implementing many action plans and have even developed a time-line to accomplish specific tasks.  (Noted was the web site.)

A discussion about the intake of information not being equitable, i.e. the small group vs the larger group, will give the small group more say than the larger group already working on issues.  Information will be weighted in favor of the small group.  No conclusion was drawn from this discussion except to be cautious.

Jason W. noted that the inclusion of new people’s experiences and ideas the better it will reduce fears and make progress more solid.  Then it will be harder to “drop the ball” and not finish the work.  Also, with group collaboration it will be easier to support each other out when signing on for grants.


PTSC can not use the universal stop sign symbol or colors.  A circle using yellow and black will be okay.  Diana N will develop a new design still listing all the user groups around the edge.

PNF now has Limited Sight signs and Slow signs ready to be put on the trails.  Jason will be asking for volunteers to help him put them in.

Jason noted when he is out on the trails he makes personal contact with anyone he meet and takes the time to talk to them about trail safety issues.  He encouraged all to do the same.

Plans were made to contact and talk to relevant shop owners and ask them to talk to their customers.  Especially regarding head phones and ear buds.  If one must use them , then use only one ear piece.

The motorized group will be invited to the next PTSC meeting.

MEETING ADJORNED with PTSC letting Betty know that we will completely cooperate with
her efforts in utilizing the UECRI to work with the PNF and all groups involved in the trail use conflict.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Email From Forest Service 2/3/12

Trail User Conflict Collaborative Planning 2/3/12 - Email from Forest Service

Hello everyone- I wanted to send each of you an email regarding some future listening sessions the Forest will be hosting via Udall Foundation's U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (U.S. Institute).

The Prescott National Forest (PNF)is currently working to assess and refine collaborative efforts with community members in order to develop strategies to reduce and minimize trail-use conflict in the PNF.  As most of you are aware, we had a few accidents on the forest between mountain bikers and horseback riders over the last year.  Many of you have been very involved in helping us with new signs, educational clinics, and assessing trail conditions.  Much work has been done, and I really want to thank each of you for hard work!  Now, I need to assess what more can the PNF do to reduce and minimize trail-use conflicts on the Prescott.

With this in mind, the PNF has engaged the U.S. Institute to provide neutral services on this initiative.  The U.S. Institute is an impartial, independent federal agency, and their mission is to help parties, including public, private, and non-profit individuals and organizations, improve collaboration and resolve conflicts involving environmental, natural resource, and public lands issues.  The U.S. Institute will staff professional mediators to work with the PNF and community members to help design a process to address and minimize trail-use conflicts in a collaborative forum.

As a first step, the U.S. Institute will hold several listening sessions with trail users.  The purpose of the listening sessions is to identify the range of interests, issues, and concerns related to the various trail user groups.  Listening sessions will be held in confidential, small-group settings with selected trail users and U.S. Institute staff.   Information gathered at these sessions will be summarized in a manner that is non-attributable to participants.  This information will help inform the PNF how community members would like to engage in a collaborative process to discuss and address trail-use challenges.

The listening sessions are tentatively scheduled for February, and the final schedule for the sessions will be developed with input from the participants.

As a key community partner, the U.S. Institute would like to contact you directly to get your input on identifying potential participants for the listening sessions, and to answer any questions that you may have about these sessions.  Please anticipate being contacted by one of the U.S. Institute staff working on this initiative (Brian Manwaring, Program Manager, <>  and Lindsey Sexton, Program Associate, <> ) in the coming weeks. If you have any questions for the U.S. Institute staff prior to their call, feel free to contact them directly.
Thank you for all the hard work on the PNF and I look forward to solving our challenges together.  Betty

To Do List

ActivityDescriptionResponsibilityDue DateNotesComplete

Signage Design Unique PNF signage to place at trail heads ALL Involved  September 30, 2011  On Going we have a design that FS has approved just waiting for final approval
Identify problem spots on ground review of trail 347 / give feedback on how to fix ALL Involved  September 30, 2011  10/15/11
Trail Re-design & Equestrian by pass routes  Design and complete appropriate modifications on #347 ALL Involved  November 30, 2011  Due to weather and other items we are still working on this.
Identify Problem spots on trails Identify and prioritize other trails for review  ALL Involved  October 31, 2011  Spots have been identified by both groups 12/31/11
Brushing Video Design and post a brushing video for people to watch on how to brush correctly PMBA / USFS December 31, 2011  IMBA has a program just waiting to see what the forest service say 
Joint Trail head talks Horse and bike talks at Wonderschlautt at each trail head  PMBA/BCHAZ/PSC October 15, 2011  On going  We have had several meetings that were well received 
Discourage Earphone use by bikers Include information on website, facebook, & communicate at group rides PMBA On going  
Joint Trail maintenance days Horse/ Bike trail maintenance days 3 per year Spring, summer & fall  ALL Involved  Schedule to be determined  
Horse safety Clinic Get horses used to bikes, animals, people so as not to spook easily on trails BCHAZ / PSC  Schedule to be determined by Tom Norris  
Horse Confidence training / Discussion Informing Equestrians on how to handle their horse and make it more confident on the trail  BCHAZ / PSC  Schedule to be determined - Denny Murray point of contact 
Bells & Whistles for trail users Investigate designs for bike bells & recommend to group. Recommend whistles for Equestrian rider leaders  PMBA/BCHAZ/PSC October 15, 2011  Bikers have started using the bells. Equestrians rider leaders are carrying whistles.  On Going - each group is assessing these new items.  Bikers like the idea and have started using them . Equestrians like it as well.  Their horses alert sooner. 
Trail Ambassadors Riders & Hikers on trails to talk about user safety. Review similar programs in other regions  ALL Involved  December 31, 2011 Pilot program in field by 4/15/12 
Joint statement formed Need a joint statement we can give to reporters invited out at events ALL Involved  September 15, 2011 We will use parts from the last stmt from Brad and & Diana September 17, 2011 
Showing 13 items

Spots on 347

posted Oct 19, 2009 
Jason and others went out on 347 after our first sit down meeting.  There were some
spots identified. The ride for Sept 9th was canceled due to things coming up for Jason. 
If Jason or Denny could post what and where the spots are on 347 so the PMBA trail
master can go take a look and give his opinion on what would work.  We should be able
to have a plan in place and able to get this project marked as COMPLETED.  

We're on target...

posted Oct 19, 2009 
Trail 347 which is one of our first deadlines looks like we will be able to complete it
on time.

One other deadline coming up is the joint statement. I really liked the last post to the
editor by Brad and Diana.  I say we use it as the guide line as to what to say to reporters
we have at events.  Any other suggestions?? 

Comments sent by Jason on 9/6/11

posted Oct 19, 2009 
I did a quick review.  One thing I would start thinking about would be turning this into a larger document that
 speaks to the trail community as a whole not just bikes and equestrians. some other ideas I have are:

1.  list all the trails that have had conflicts or could - 347, 396, 326, 307 etc most of you know them.
2. We need to start tracking negative trail encounters/accidents between users to help us understand where 

design is a factor and where user behavior is a factor
3. Vision statement for the "Prescott Trail Safety Coalition" name?????
4. Goals
5.  Action Plan - which is mostly developed

Sign Template we are working with

posted Oct 19, 2009 
This was submitted by Denise and Diana made some changes.. is there any other changes
that need to be added or deleted or something else that needs to be posted on it.. like the
no ipods sign?

Project Definition


For all user groups to enjoy our Prescott Trails safely.  We work on educating the public
through signs, local press, websites and club communications.

The Purpose (Mission)

  • Make Trails Safer for all who use them
  • Education the users on trail courtesy
  • Create relationships with all trail user groups

These are the targets we want to meet

  • Signage at trails heads that get users attention
  • Trail Head talks with bikers and equestrians
  • Horse safety clinics
  • Joint bike/ horse trail maintenance days 

This is how our organization will gain.

  • Positive feed back in the community for both groups working together
  • More respect for each user group
  • More trails brushed during the season
  • Safer trails for everyone


The Back Country Horsemen of  Central Arizona Board of Directors has mandated that this 
chapter take an  active role in the newly formed multi-use, non-motorized trail safety coalition. 
Through this action we want to send the community, our elected officials, government agencies, 
and our membership, clarification of our position concerning trail safety and our wilderness to 
work toward a  solution. We are partnering with the Prescott National Forest, Prescott   
Mountain Bike Alliance, Prescott Saddle Club, Yavapai Trails Association,  Granite Mountain 
Riders, and all other trail users to promote safety and  strive for community cooperation and 
courtesy from all users on our trails.  

Measurable Objectives:

  1. Identify problem spots on the trails
  2. Brushing trails 
  3. Trail Re-design to control bike speeds 
  4. Equestrian Bypass routes for around dangerous spots