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Preventing future impacts of fire, man or other causes to the trails of Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon is not a part-time occupation for the Friends of the Forest — it’s a series of ongoing projects.

Friends of the Forest use a mesh net made out of old, cut-up fire hoses to carry large rocks during their reconstruction of the rock staircase March 14 from Midgley Bridge down to Oak Creek. Ernie DiMillo, Kevin Harding, David Murrill, Arnie Osmundson and Bob Wych, from left, are Friends members contracted directly with the U.S. Forest Service to perform such projects and maintenance.

After finishing brush removal on the A.B. Young and Sterling trails four days before they were overrun by the Slide Fire, eight members of the Friends trail maintenance construction crew met behind the Village of Oak Creek outlet mall at 7 a.m. Friday, May 23, to begin repair work on the switchbacks of the Templeton Trail near its junction with the Baldwin Trail at Red Rock Crossing.

“Right now, there are two specific sites that are going to require rebuilding,” said Kurt Starbuck, co-chairman of the Friends crew. “There may be others in between — we’ll have to assess on our way up the switchbacks.

“If there only turn out to be two work sites, if they’re not severe and if I have a full work crew of eight to 10 people, I can ask Forest Service coordinator Mike Ober to give us another assignment. If not, it’s going to take another week. That’s our purpose, to do what they ask us to do.”

For the full story, please see the Friday, May 30, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.


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