AZ Trail Management Plan prohibits the inheritance of grazing rights

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We previously wrote about the Arizona Trail management plan in the works through various national forests in Arizona. It’s an attempt to designate a one-mile-wide easement along the length of the trail and create an “all lands approach” to its future management.

The management plan introduces a one-mile-wide easement along the length of the trail to preserve the scenic quality. It also calls for road closures, plans of operation for any existing mineral operations, prohibition on fire management techniques, and prioritizes the acquisition of patented private properties. And the scariest of all, the National Trail System Act allows the federal government to impose eminent domain on private landowners who do not comply with the management of a National Scenic Trail.

This management plan will also include any connecting non-motorized trails that meet the qualities of the Arizona Scenic Trail. These non-motorized Trails will also have a one-mile-wide easement and be under the same strict regulation.

These regulations are the likes of a Wilderness Area and should be strictly opposed by all members of the off-road community, miners, ranchers, and private landowners. It imposes undue burdens on Rural communities, Recreation, and industries that are vital to rural Arizona.

Among its various provisions is the prohibition of the inheritance of grazing rights within the easement. 

Our local ranchers have grazed this land for over 100 years and have passed their operation down over the course of 4 generations or more. But soon, local ranchers along the length of the trail can expect to face challenges when passing their operation down to the heirs of the family.

However, contrary to a wilderness area that allows grazing to continue but prevents the issuance of new grazing rights; This new policy will develop a roadblock that will effectively phase out ranching operations before the next generation can get a chance.

You can learn more about the Arizona Trail Management Plan here.

We highly encourage everyone to share this article with your local rancher or any private landowner you know that lives along the Arizona Trail. Everybody must understand what’s about to come through their backyard. Many may have no idea.

We stand with our local ranchers who work hard every day to put food on our plates because we understand the policies that prohibit our access also harm our local Ranchers. We recognize that prohibitions on motorized access are only one aspect of a systematic effort to remove all forms of industry and private ownership from public lands. Furthermore, we recognize that our access depends on these industries, and without our local ranchers, there would be no legal reason to keep these backroads open.

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You can use the map below to see if you will be affected by this proposed action.

Kevin Allard
Author: Kevin Allard

Kevin is an American outdoorsman born and raised in rural Arizona who grew up exploring the Arizona backcountry with his father. Today, he and his son travel to the most remote regions of Arizona, scavenging for the remains of early western pioneers. As a lifelong outdoorsman, Kevin has learned to stick close to his roots while engaging in important advocacy work regarding motorized access to public lands. You can find his work in many local and nationwide publications, including The Western Journal, 4Low Magazine, and his website


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