Latest News – March 23
Forest Service Offers Help With Trail Maintenance
The Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service is seeking public input to help identify trails that will be part of a U.S. Forest Service effort with partners and volunteers to increase the pace of trail maintenance. They are asking the public to submit input via this SURVEY by April 7.
This effort is in response to the National Trails and Stewardship Act of 2016 and aims to increase trail maintenance by volunteers and partners by 100% by the end of 2021.
Overview of Project:
National Forest and grasslands are all yours to explore, enjoy, protect and manage. The U.S. Forest Service is inviting forest visitors to help identify priority trail maintenance work across national forests in Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming and Kansas.
The trail maintenance effort is outlined in the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act of 2016 and aims to increase trail maintenance by volunteers and partners by 100% by the end of 2021.
In 2013, the Government Accountability Office conducted a study of U.S. Forest Service trails that revealed a $314 million backlog in trail maintenance and that only one fourth of all Forest Service trails met the agency’s standards for trail maintenance. Having more miles of trails (158,000) than any other federal agency, the U.S. Forest Service trail maintenance backlog has been a significant concern to American Hiking Society and our members. This new law will help address the backlog, restore trails that are either closed or on the cusp of closing, and connect more Americans with their public lands.
To help guide your recommendation, please remember that the Act requires that priority areas shall include a well-defined region on National Forest System land where the lack of trail maintenance has:
- Reduced access to public land.
- Led to an increase, or risk of increase, in harm to natural resources.
- Jeopardized public safety.
- Resulted in trails being impassable by the intended managed users.
- Increased future deferred trail maintenance costs.
Input will be evaluated to ensure alignment with Agency strategic goals, partner interests and the Act. The Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service will submit three to four nominations to the Washington Office for national selection of between 9 and 15 national priority areas.
To take part in the survey, CLICK HERE. Contact Kate Jerman at 970-945-3271 or 970-948-1894; or Lawrence Lujan, Regional Media Officer, 303 -815-9902, if you have further questions.