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Flagstaff Community Forum

How do you use McMillan Mesa Natural Area?

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McMillan Mesa Survey Results
Topic Start: March 29, 2018, 3:08 PM
Topic End: October 5, 2018, 10:46 AM.

This forum had:
• Attendees: 582
• Responses: 366
• 25 written feedback submissions at public events.
• Numerous verbal comments conveyed to staff.

Questions and Results:
1. What best describes your relationship with McMillan Mesa Natural Area? Note: Please select the relationship that is most relevant.

• The majority, at 68%, reported that recreating in McMillan Mesa Natural Area was the relationship that was most relevant for them
• Only 10% of people responded stating that they lived, rented, or worked in the vicinity

2. How do you primarily access McMillan Mesa Natural Area?
• 47% walk/bike
• 28% drive

3. Where do you primarily park?
• 77% Buffalo Park

4. Which trails and facilities do you use to access McMillan Mesa Natural Area? (please select all that apply)
• 96% of participants reported using the FUTS trails and sidewalks
• 65% reported using the AZ Trail

5. With each pin, in the corresponding comment box, we invite you to share why you visit that area, what activities you engage in there, and anything else you feel is important about that location.
• Why you visit this area? Comment themes: Children attend school in the area, views of the peaks, open terrain, natural landscape, commute, resident of area, FUTS, native prairie, peace of mind, birding, botany, business meetings.
• What activities do you engage in there? Comment themes: Running, walking, wildlife viewing, dog walking, biking, photography, cross country skiing, exercise.
• Is there anything else you feel is important about this location? Comment themes: Overall most respondents indicated that they use the area to recreate.

6. What do you value MOST about McMillan Mesa Natural Area?
• 41% recreational opportunities
• 33% ecological resources
• 14% views San Francisco Peaks

7. What recreational activities do you engage in on McMillan Mesa Natural Area? (Choose as many as applicable)
• 91% walking/hiking
• 56% watching wildlife
• 54% biking
• 44% dog walking
• 43% running
• 22% cross country skiing
• 19% snowshoeing

8. What recreational activities would you like to engage in on McMillan Mesa Natural Area but feel
the facilities are inadequate for? (Choose as many as applicable)

• 28% cross country skiing
• 26% wildlife watching
• 23% hiking/walking
• 17% biking
• 17% snowshoeing
• 32% other

9. If you feel that the facilities are inadequate, how could they be improved to meet your needs?

• Majority of responses stated: Facilities are not inadequate, do not further develop the McMillan
Mesa Natural Area.
• A suggestive number of responses stated: Facilities are inadequate in the following areas: wildlife
protection, walking and hiking trails, ski trails, restrooms, water availability, trash service, parking,
and interpretation of site.

10. What are the most important issues affecting McMillan Mesa Natural Area? Please rate each option
from “Least Concerned” to “Most Concerned” to help us understand how you rank these.

• 44% most/somewhat concerned ecological conditions
• 41% illegal dumping
• 13% social trail development
• 7% most concerned parking
• 12% other

11. If you selected other, please specify:

• Majority of responses stated: Ongoing development and future development of the area and the
protected natural area is the most concerning issue.
• A suggestive number of responses stated: The most concerning issues include the lack of wildlife
habitat, litter, transient use problems, inadequate recreational opportunities, inadequate
infrastructure (toilets, water, trash service), and inadequate access.

12. What types of improvements do you think are most important in McMillan Mesa Natural Area?
(rank priorities in order of importance from not at all to highly important).

• Ecological restoration and forest health improvements within forested areas
• Trash and recycling facilities
• Provide restrooms at the primary access point
• Develop additional FUTS and single-track trails within the Natural Area
• Provide opportunities for visitors to rest and enjoy the Natural Area (e.g. benches, picnic tables,
• Decommission or revegetate social trails within the Natural Area
• Install additional signage throughout the Natural Area to orient visitors, mark trails, and interpret
• Establish a formal parking area for visitors to access the Mesa more easily
• Maps/interpretive information/signage
• Other

13. If you selected other?
• Majority of responses stated: The Natural Area should not have further improvements but be left in
its natural state.
• A suggestive number of responses stated: The most important improvements should include wildlife
habitat improvement, litter abatement, trail improvement, regular trail maintenance, developing
better recreational opportunities, and invasive plant abatement.

14. Is there anything else you would like to add regarding how you feel McMillan Mesa Natural Area
should be managed or recommendations for projects that could enhance the area?

• Majority of responses stated: The Natural Area should not be developed or have improvements
• A suggestive number of responses stated: That the property should be managed to improve wildlife
habitat, improve access, improve trails, and improve infrastructure.
• A suggestive number of responses stated: To reverse legislation that protected the natural area and
allow development.

1. Poster/Open House Meeting

• Majority of responses stated: The natural area should have no further development, that
improvements to wildlife habitat should occur, and that better connectivity of trails between Buffalo
Park and McMillan Mesa should be considered.
• A suggestive number of responses stated: Trail improvements and regular maintenance be
conducted, affiliated tribes should be consulted in decision making, the number of busses on the
route 2-blue should be increased to provide better access to the natural area, and that interpretive
signage for geology and Beale Wagon Road’s should be installed.

Overall themes in comments (Includes review of Community Forum survey, written comments, and verbal

Flagstaff Open Space received over 400 responses during the survey period. Overall most people indicated that they
would prefer that developments/improvements be minimized and that the property be kept as natural as possible.
People indicated that infrastructure such as signage, trails, and restrooms be minimal. There was also emphasis on
maintaining the health of the ecosystem, protecting viewsheds, and prevent encroachment on the property.
Many respondents stated ideas for improvements that included, but are not limited to, trail installations, restroom
installation, improved signage, trailhead parking, wildlife habitat, a pedestrian bridge to cross Turquoise, and many
A few comments that were not in support of the natural area and suggested that the area be open for development
to accommodate the communities growing needs were also submitted.

All the results can be viewed at the: