My name is Brian Poturalski and I work with the Forest Service at the Flagstaff Ranger District. We have partnered with Friends of Northern Arizona Forest (FoNAF), a non-profit group to develop a Preventative Search & Rescue program for the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. It’s my understanding that you have an interest to be involved with the program.
In a nutshell, the intent is to educate visitors about the unique challenges that hiking strenuous trails at high altitude can encounter and hopefully influence them to make good decisions. Volunteers will be present at popular trailheads like the Humphrey’s and Kachina trails during peak use periods such as weekends and holidays. They will be dressed in official uniforms and conduct outreach at information tables as well as patrol points. The will provide information on proper gear to be worn and on recognizing altitude sickness, staying hydrated, bringing the proper food, and being aware of weather conditions, especially the possibility of lightning. Volunteers will also provide general information about the area including less challenging alternative trails, general wilderness information and ‘Leave No Trace’ ethics.
With that in mind, we have our initial training scheduled for Saturday, May 16 (9:30 am to 12:30 pm) at the Flagstaff Ranger District (5075 N. Hwy. 89) – located in east Flagstaff near the Mall. I recognize this is short notice, but I’m hopeful that you and/or others you may know that might be interested can make the training (please share this as you see fit). Our goal is to initiate the program the weekend of Memorial Day. If you have any questions/comments please contact Laura James at 527-8260 or firstname.lastname@example.org Finally, we will be sending out an agenda for the meeting early next week.