Flagstaff Trails Initiative Board

FTI’s board serves one main purpose: to serve the trail community of Flagstaff. From those just starting their career in the outdoor world to those who have been living it their whole life, our board has experience to back their decision making. Through their knowledge, professional skills, receptiveness for community feedback, and passion for getting outside the board makes the decisions that progress Flagstaff’s trails from good to extraordinary.

Debbie McMahon

Debbie McMahon

Board President

Debbie believes it is important for everyone to get outside and enjoy nature. The solitude when hiking in the mountains is good for the soul and getting outside with friends provides the best venue for communal relationships to strengthen. The benefits of hiking are limitless for both our physical health and mental health and she looks forward to using my background in ecology and education to progress Flagstaff’s outdoor recreation culture with sustainability in mind. One thing Debbie loves about living here is the fact that a great hiking trail in great condition with great weather is never more than a 45 minute drive away. No matter the time of year, she can find a place to get outside and breath the fresh Northern Arizona air.

Matthew Roberts

Matthew Roberts

Board Treasurer

Matt came to Flagstaff in 2004 to volunteer on a trail crew and loved the region so much that he relocated from the UK to develop a career in trail design, nonprofit management and youth development. He is a professional trail builder and educator who owns Flagline Trails LLC. He spends most of time thinking about trails, designing trails, and shaping piles of dirt into attractive and fun shapes. If he is not working on trails, you can find him riding his bike on the many miles of magical singletrack around Flagstaff

Robert Wallace

Robert Wallace

Board Member

Robert Wallace, the Open Space Specialist for the City of Flagstaff, Arizona, oversees the City’s Open Space Program. In his position he manages over 3,000 acres of designated open space: McMillan Mesa, Observatory Mesa, Picture Canyon, and Schultz Trailhead. His efforts involve developing policy, planning and implementing projects, securing sustainable funding, and working with partners to ensure the preservation of open space lands.

Before joining the City of Flagstaff, Robert served a Park Ranger with the National Park Service for over 15 years. He specialized in community outreach, education, resource monitoring and management, and park operations. Robert holds a Bachelor of Science in Field Biology from the University of Northern Colorado. He is invested in the preservation of healthy ecosystems for the benefit and enjoyment of all. He enjoys contributing efforts to improving the environment, health and well-being, and overall quality of life.

Nat White

Nat White

Board Member

Nat is a retired Lowell Observatory Astronomer, a 52 plus year resident, and a competitive trail runner holding numerous age group records. The natural environment has been his lifelong solace. He is honored to have some part in balancing the increasing recreational use of our forests, mountains and parks while sharing and preserving the sights, sounds and feel that only nature can provide. He was part of the group that protected, in perpetuity, Buffalo Park and another group that founded the Flagstaff Urban Trail System, FUTS. He served as Vice Mayor when the first FUTS link was constructed. Nat is currently president of the Flagstaff Library Foundation and current chair of the Coconino Community College governing board. Three children were born and raised in Flagstaff with his wife a retired school teacher Jean.

Tod Lewis

Tod Lewis

Board Member

Tod is a retired physician and avid mountain biker, dog walker, and is learning the ropes from friends to start up equestrian riding. As a multi-model trail user, Tod understands the concerns brought to FTI from all trail use backgrounds. He knows that all users of trails deserve the respect of those they are sharing the trail with and looks forward to helping the FTI board grow Flagstaff’s trail network in an inclusive manner.

Julie Polovitch

Julie Polovitch

Board Member

Julie brings a passion for conservation, social justice, and education to the FTI board. As the Arizona Trail Association’s Youth Outreach Coordinator, Julie aims to empower the next generation of public land stewards. She is excited to give back to Flagstaff’s trails, where you can often find her leading groups of kids, approaching climbs, and mountain biking.

Flagstaff Trails Initiative’s Committees

Advisory Committee

Goals:
  • Make recommendations and provide key information to the board of directors to assist with programmatic decision making
  • Gather input from and serve as a liaison between agencies/NGOs and FTI
Organizations:
  • Coconino National Forest
  • Coconino County Parks and Recreation
  • Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • City of Flagstaff
  • Flagstaff Biking Organization
  • Coconino Trail Riders
  • Sierra Club
  • R2R Hiking Club
  • American Conservation Experience

Financial Sustainability Committee

Goals:
  • Improve the financial sustainability of trail management
  • Integrate trail planning and management with tourism and economic goals
Chairs:
  • Robert Wallace 
  • Matt Roberts

Education and Outreach Committee

Goals:
  • Create a safe and fun experience for trail users
  • Educate, inform, and involve the community in trail stewardship
  • Use trails to build the next generation of youth stewards
Chair:
  • Debbie McMahon

Conservation and Restoration Committee

Goals:
  • Balance trail development and management with community conservation and natural resource goals with an emphasis on restoration
  • Ensure historic and prehistoric sites, including Indigenous sacred places and traditional cultural properties, are preserved and protected for their cultural importance
Chairs:
  • Debbie McMahon
  • Nat White