Fort Tuthill Thinning Project


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Overview


Coconino County Parks & Recreation is conducting a forest thinning project in Fort Tuthill County Park to increase forest health, to improve public safety and to reduce wildfire risk. Removal will be by hand and mechanical thinning. 

The Fort Tuthill Thinning Project is a collaborative effort between Coconino County, Arizona Department of Forestry & Fire Management, Greater Flagstaff Forests Partnership, U.S. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, Arizona Game & Fish Department, Northern Arizona University Ecological Restoration Institute, and the City of Flagstaff. 

Latest News

October 20: 
Mechanical thinning for the Fort Tuthill Thinning Project finished up this week, and there is about a week’s work of hand thinning left on the project.  

October 13:
The Board of Supervisors toured the Fort Tuthill Thinning Project during their work session on Tuesday, October 10, while the Parks & Recreation Commission toured the area the week before during their monthly meeting.

Both groups saw first-hand the scale of the project, especially the slash piles that are in the process of being moved and chipped. The primary goal of the project is to reduce the risk of a catastrophic wildfire. And while the contractor is almost done using heavy machinery, the project is far from over.

For the next several months and years, park staff will be implementing procedures that include: removing and rehabbing temporary roads, rehabbing trails, reseeding the area with native grass seed mix that includes wildflowers and forbs, and eventually maintaining the site with regular, controlled, low-intensity fires on a 7-10-year rotation.
Fort Tuthill Thinning Project_Info Sheet_Page_1
Image links to larger file (PDF).

September 22: 
Mechanical thinning for the Fort Tuthill Thinning Project wrapped up this week, and the contractor is working to finish hauling and chipping of slash piles. What does that mean? The trails at Fort Tuthill County Park are open. So come on out and get on the Soldiers and Bridge Trails! As always, if the trails are wet and muddy, please practice good trail etiquette.

September 15: Out of the approximately 220 acres that was contracted for the Fort Tuthill Forest Thinning Project, approximately 50 acres remain for mechanical thinning. Huge slash piles are left behind from the mechanical thinning process, and Perkins Harvesting is chipping the slash piles, with materials from the chipping being re-purposed into decorative wood chips for gardens and landscaping. A portion of the Soldiers Trail remains closed to users, however the Bridge Trail is open; see the map below.
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Slash piles remain after mechanical thinning, with materials then chipped into decorative wood chips.
Soldiers Trail closure 091517
Image links to a larger file (JPG).

August 14: The Fort Tuthill Forest Thinning Project is moving along well, with some delays taking place due to the monsoon weather. The contractor, Perkins Timber Harvesting, moved from the southwest portion of the park to the northwest portion. So far, approximately 110 acres have been mechanically thinned and processed, including the NAU Ecological Restoration Institute (ERI) Demonstration Area. CCPR has been alerting the public to partial trail closures via social media and signage at trail junctures. The project is slated to be completed by December. 
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Recently felled trees in the NAU ERI Demonstration Area, as part of Fort Tuthill Thinning Project.

Hand thinning at the Fort Tuthill Archery Range began this week, and the range will be closed Monday and Tuesday, August 21 and 22 from 6:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. We apologize for any inconvenience and remind archery range members that they can use the range after 3:30 p.m. on these days.

August 8: Beginning August 8, the thinning project at Fort Tuthill County Park moves to another section of the park. Below are two maps that show immediate trail closures, that will remain closed for approximately two weeks. Visit our Facebook page for more updates.
220 acres east for print copy 220 acres west for print
(Images link to larger file - PDF)

July 24: Work on the Fort Tuthill Thinning Project begins Monday, July 24. As part of the thinning near the archery range on Monday, sections of Soldiers Trail and the entire Bridge Trail will be closed for approximately one week. Staff will place trail closure signs at specific points on the trails so users are aware and can plan their outing accordingly. Please check out the map below that shows locations of the immediate trail closures.

July 24 Map for Trail Closure_Fort Tuthill Thinning Project
(Image links to larger file - PDF)

Map and Project Information


Read the press release (PDF)
Download the information brochure, includes a project map (PDF, 700 KB)
Prescriptions for Thinning Project (PDF 9 MB)
Information Sheet - October 2017 (PDF 8 MB)


Thinning Map-BROCHURE_reduced

(Image links to larger file)

Want to learn more?


Northern Arizona University's Ecological Restoration Institute provides background information and fact sheets on forest restoration and more. Check out the following:
Browse additional fact sheets on ERI's new e-library.