There may be other solutions to the funding shortfall in the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project (FWPP) in addition to those given in AZ Daily Sun 2/11/18 articles.
First: Is the remaining FWPP a Cadillac solution to the remaining problems? Can a somewhat lesser remaining project achieve nearly the same effect at lesser cost?
Second: Forget helicopter logging. That is prohibitively expensive and probably not imperative to the project’s success.
Third: Request the Forest Service sweeten the timber sale somewhat by including a minor amount of higher value timber in the sale. This might entice a more qualified bid for the sale.
Fourth: The Forest Service also might include some firewood cordwood to increase the sale value.
Fifth: Take advantage of opportunities of spreading the move-in costs of specialized logging equipment and personnel. For example, a missed opportunity was the many months-long helicopter work on Mount Elden which could have been used to help subsidize the FWPP.
Sixth: Could qualified, able, willing incarcerated people do some of the post sale slash mitigation? This would not be a “chain gang operation.” Inmates might want to do it.
Seventh: Do not have the City take on the contract for FWPP. In my opinion, the City staff has excessive enthusiasm for contracts at high cost to the City.