What We Did
Created a vital gateway to Rogers Lake County Natural Area
Protect land from development for the benefit of wildlife and people
Lying near Flagstaff is a unique ecosystem featuring an ephemeral lake, high-elevation wetlands, and open meadows surrounded by beautiful ponderosa pines and aspens, offering views of the iconic San Francisco Peaks. This hidden jewel is critical to the survival of abundant wildlife species and connects many people to the outdoors.
Creating, protecting, and preserving Rogers Lake’s distinctive ecosystem took a mighty village. Some milestones:
2002—Coconino County voters, with the assistance of Trust for Public Land, passed a sales tax to raise $34 million for open space preservation and park development.
2010—Coconino County Parks and Recreation used a portion of these funds to acquire 2,250 acres near Flagstaff, creating the Rogers Lake County Natural Area.
2019—TPL helped once again and acquired 80 acres of critical land at the entrance of Rogers Lake County Natural Area when it was threatened for sale and residential development. This addition provided more open space, a place for trailhead parking, and a venue for an outdoor environmental education classroom.
The 80-acre property is a gateway to the county’s natural area, so its protection is vital to the visitor’s experience at Rogers Lake. Visitors embrace extraordinary wildlife viewing of migratory waterfowl, large herds of elk, and the majestic bald eagle, to name a few. Six miles of hiking and biking trails punctuated by sweeping views of the San Francisco Peaks provide opportunities for outdoor adventure.
“Rogers Lake is a crown jewel of the county’s parks and recreation system and offers an amazing place for people to hike and bike in a beautiful landscape just outside Flagstaff,” said Michael Patrick, senior project manager for Trust for Public Land.
The benefits of preserving Rogers Lake extend beyond protecting critical wildlife habitat and eliminating the threat of residential development. The area serves a military purpose as well.
Near Rogers Lake lie both the Army National Guard’s Camp Navajo and the U.S. Naval Observatory at Flagstaff. The observatory takes advantage of Flagstaff’s commitment to preserving its dark skies and is ideal for star cataloging and orientation of space systems. Both the Army and Navy consider preserving open space in the Rogers Lake area critical to their military missions and have contributed financially to the county’s purchase and protection of lands here.
“Rogers Lake is the centerpiece of Coconino County’s vision for a large, protected wetland landscape that supports incomparable outdoor education opportunities, watchable wildlife programs, interpretation of historic and prehistoric sites, and low-impact recreation,” said Todd Graeff, former director of Coconino County Parks and Recreation.