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Network for Arizona Trails Collaborative Charter
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Recreational trails are a critical economic, social, health and environmental asset to the people of Arizona. The Network for Arizona Trails (NAzT) is a broad collaborative of non-motorized and motorized trail builders, planners, managers, advocates and supporters that seeks to elevate trail recreation throughout our state and community.


The NAzT creates essential space for the trail community in Arizona to come together.

  • Space to connect organizations, agencies and peers with similar goals to share resources and knowledge

  • Space for advocacy around access, funding and policy on the local, regional, state and national level

  • Space to advance specific topics and initiatives that benefit and educate trail users and communities

Guiding Values

Collaboration • Citizen Stewardship and Volunteerism • Conservation of Our Natural
and Cultural Heritage • Individual and Community Health • Justice, Equity, Diversity
and Inclusion • Strong Local Economies • Equitable Access to Outdoor Recreation
and Active Transportation • Transparency, Accountability, and Information Sharing •
Positive Relationships and Cooperation Among Different Trail Users • Safe Recreation
Experiences for Diverse Users • Responsible Recreation

Network Participation


The NAzT is for everyone who has a stake in the future of trails in Arizona, whether a professional or volunteer, advocate or manager.  The intent is for the NAzT to include motorized and non-motorized trail interests, all engaged user groups and a membership that reflects Arizona’s diverse population. Embracing and expanding the breadth of those engaged in sustainable recreation is critical to ensuring its future, so we welcome everyone at the table.  There is no formal membership.


The NAzT will use the “constellation” model of organization, shown below.


Steering Committee 

Purpose: Act as the strategy and decision making team for the NAzT. 


Composition and Selection: 

  • Core Members

    • Open membership up to 10 people

    • May includes representatives of nonprofits, local government, locally-owned businesses, activity groups/clubs and others

    • Steering Committee members are encouraged to commit to at least one year of active participation, with no limit on duration of service

    • The Steering Committee will nominate and select new core members based on the following criteria:

      • Strive for diversity of use type, interest, expertise, function, and personal/professional background

      • Strive for balanced representation geographically across Arizona

      • Strive to ensure that working groups are represented on the Steering Committee (through core and/or advisory member participation in working groups)

      • Strive to align member composition with Arizona’s demographic composition

      • Commitment to active and collaborative participation and a statewide perspective

      • Support the purpose and guiding values of the Network

    • Core members may meet without advisory members in executive session


  • Advisory Members

    • Advisory members are local, state or federal agency employees who bring valuable perspective to the work of the NAzT and support the purpose and guiding values of the Network.

    • While advisory members may not participate in decisions on matters related to the finances or advocacy positions of the NAzT, they are actively encouraged to collaborate on the work done through the NAzT including hosting Summits, supporting working group initiatives and offering strategic guidance. 

    • Agencies invited may include (up to two representatives each):

      • Local government - cities, towns, counties

      • State agencies - Arizona State Parks and Trails, Arizona State Land Department, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona Office of Tourism

      • Federal agencies - US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, US Fish and Wildlife Service

      • Tribal government

      • Non-governmental organizations 

      • Potential new members will be vetted and approved by consensus by the Steering Committee 


Working Groups


  • Working groups may be formed as needed to move forward NAzT priorities and may change over time.

  • New working groups may be initiated by the Steering Committee or by NAzT participants, and are reviewed and approved by the Steering Committee. 

  • New working groups should have leadership in place (co-conveners are encouraged).

  • Working groups are open to all interested and are actively encouraged to include as diverse a membership as possible

  • Working groups should include a member of the steering committee whenever possible.



  • Working Groups are self-managing and commit to remain true to the Guiding Values of the NAzT and maintain connectivity with the larger effort.

  • Co-conveners: To build shared leadership and responsibility critical to the sustainability of the Network, Working Groups are encouraged to be co-convened by two active partners.

  • Coordination/Facilitation: Clear coordination/facilitation and meeting documentation is necessary. If funding support is needed, this may be a Steering Committee decision. General buy-in by the Steering Committee to the coordination/facilitation selection is encouraged.


Backbone Organization and Facilitation


A backbone organization provides necessary organizational support for the Network including fiscal sponsorship, project coordination, communications and outreach. The role can be filled by one or more existing Network partners. The Arizona Trail Association will take a lead coordinating role as well as fiscal sponsorship and NAzT outreach and communications to the degree possible, or as long as funding and/or staff time is available.  Facilitation support is provided by Southwest Decision Resources.


Key Functions and Priorities


At the inaugural Summit for Arizona Trails in 2020, participants identified the following topics of shared interest for action and potential working groups:

  • COVID Response Collaboration

  • Statewide political advocacy for access, policy and funding

  • Statewide collaboration around outdoor recreation

  • Volunteerism

  • Diversity and Inclusion

  • Training and Skills

  • National Environmental Policy Act and Environmental Streamlining        

  • Fundraising and Operational Sustainability

  • Trails and Environmental Considerations


Initial functions and programs for the Network are below:



  • Hosting the Summit for Arizona Trails on a regular basis, providing value to participants through networking and shared learning 

  • Convening working groups to tackle specific topics of mutual interest, beginning with  those identified during the inaugural Summit

  • Collaboratively formulating recommendations that advance trails and outdoor recreation in Arizona



  • Launch and implement unique initiatives such as the COVID-19 Networking Calls

  • Serve as a resource library and information source




  • Steering Committee meetings are expected to occur no less than quarterly. 

  • Working group meetings will occur as needed. 

  • Summits are anticipated to be held annually.


Decision Making Process


  • For decisions or agreements, in order to ensure broad support, the Steering Committee will strive for consensus when possible.

  • Members of the Steering Committee will seek guidance or approval from the entity that they represent, as necessary, before participating in decision-making. 

  • Consensus has been reached when everyone agrees they can accept whatever is proposed after every effort has been made to meet the interests of all core members. Members have the right to expect that no one will ask them to undermine their interests and their responsibility is to propose solutions that will meet everyone else’s interests as well as their own. 

  • If consensus cannot be reached, areas of divergence, along with the reasons for divergence, will be documented. If a decision is needed, a fallback decision method (e.g., supermajority voting) will be determined in advance and used when consensus cannot be reached.




A public website for the Network will provide easy access to upcoming events, resources and other information.




The Network will rely on a diversity of funding types. Primary funding sources may include:

  • Summit participant fees and sponsorships

  • Grant funding from public agencies and foundations

  • Voluntary contributions from members of the Network


The backbone organization(s) that serve as fiscal sponsor for the Network will provide regular updates on financial status.


Ground Rules 


  • Meetings will be held in keeping with the Guiding Values of the Network. 

  • Steering committee and working group members will act in a professional manner and exhibit respect for their fellow members. Failure to meet this standard of conduct will be addressed collectively by the Steering Committee.


Life Expectancy


The Network will last as long as there are interested people committed to keeping it going.




The Charter may be updated at any time by consensus decision of the Steering Committee.

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May 2022

May 2021

August 2020

April 2020

February 2020

August 2019

3rd Summit for AZ Trails - In Person, Cottonwood, AZ

Virtual Summit 

Network for AZ Trails Charter Adopted by Steering Committee

First Statewide Zoom in response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Inagural Summite for Arizona Trails - Cottonwood, AZ

First meeting to plan the Summit for AZ Trails

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