Flagstaff AZ (June 7, 2012) – A second individual connected with illegal trail building on the Coconino National Forest was convicted in federal court on Monday.
John Finch, 62, admitted to unauthorized trail construction and maintenance near Scheurman Mountain in the Red Rock Ranger District and was sentenced to one year probation, banned from all national forests in Arizona for six months, and ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution.
“A person who undertakes this kind of illegal activity might think they are doing something worthwhile, but the truth is that building illegal trails impacts archaeology, plants and wildlife in the area, as well as causes erosion,” said District Ranger Heather Provencio. “We have worked hard over the last three years to expand opportunities for mountain biking and reduce the amount of unauthorized trail construction, and we’ll continue to do so.”
In a second and unrelated case in April, Gerald Griffin, 74, also admitted to unauthorized trail construction on the Red Rock Ranger District south of the Village of Oak Creek a couple days a week for the past three years in order to “help trail users.” In addition to being banned from Arizona national forests for two years, Griffin was also ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution.
An emergency closure to mountain biking in some sensitive areas of the district is being considered pending final decisions on future trails.
For more information on recreational opportunities on the Red Rock Ranger District, please call 928-203-2900.