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WHAT'S HOT

 

 House version of transportation funding would eliminate trail programs 

 

Senate releases outline of transportation funding bill: MAP-21

 

 Add your organization to the Recreational Trails Council of Advisors! 

 

 House Interior budget would cut LWCF, other programs 

 

 Comments on proposed "Shared Use Path Accessibility Guidelines" 

 

 GameTime offers American Trails affinity program opportunity 

 

 Join us for the webinar "Making the Case for Trails in Tight Economic Times" 

 

 Access Board to publish Proposed Rights-of-Way Guidelines on July 26 

 

 Support trails and keep up to date on actions in Washington, DC 

 

 

NEWS

 

 Winners of Coalition for Recreational Trails 2011 Awards announced 

 

 Trails may be one solution to transients living on public lands 

 

 "Five Towns, One Vision:" Norwalk Valley Trail nears fruition 

 

 Bike bridge brings business boom 

 

  Mules return to lead collaborative effort on the Sheltowee Trace Trail

 

 

FEATURES  

 

 Greenville's trail system is key to a healthier community

Iowa trails lead to High Trestle bridge

Cheaha Trail Riders support Alabama OHV trails and parks

Featured Trail: McTrail National Recreation Trail, Marion County, WV

 National Recreation Trails: 17 featured webpages to celebrate new designations

 

 

 TRAINING & EDUCATION

 

 Find courses and workshops that YOU can host in your area 

 

Webinars available from NOHVCC on land and recreation management

   

  Notes from National Trails Training Partnership, June 17, 2011

 

 Learn about classes and training for trail skills across America 

 

 Upcoming trail-related training opportunities 

 

 

NEW RESOURCES

 

 Playful pathways: Changing the way families play 

 

 Sidewalks and shared-use paths: Safety, security, and maintenance 

 

 Planning for the security of trail users: Examples from trail plans 

 

 Grand Canyon Greenway makes trails a key part of park transportation 

 

 Photo gallery: Solving wheelchair accessibility issues for trail bridges 

 

 

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Help American Trails fight for funding and support for trails 

 

 

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JULY 2011

Trail Tracks is the monthly e-Newsletter from American Trails. We continue to bring you news from the halls of Congress, as well as new resources for planning, designing, building, funding, and managing trails and greenways. Check the topics below for links to www.AmericanTrails.org, the World's most comprehensive online trail resource for planning, designing, building, funding, managing, enhancing, and supporting trails and greenways.  

whatshot WHAT'S HOT

a1  
House version of transportation funding would eliminate trail programs

Rep. Mica and the House Transportation Committee released an outline of a "Transportation Reauthorization Proposal" on July 7. Some key points from the Mica proposal:
  • Consolidation or elimination of most "special" programs including Recreational Trails, Enhancements, and Safe Routes to School
  • States will be permitted to fund such "non-highway activities," but will no longer be required to set aside funds
  • Funding is reduced from the $50 billion authorized in 2010 to closer to $35 billion in annual revenue from current fuel taxes
Read more and see current status...

 

a2  

Senate releases outline of transportation funding bill: MAP-21

 

On July 19, 2011 Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), James Inhofe (R-OK), Max Baucus (D-MT), and David Vitter (R-LA) of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee issued an outline of draft Bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the nation's surface transportation programs, entitled Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). MAP-21 authorizes Federal-aid highway programs for 2-years while maintaining current spending levels. MAP-21 consolidates 87 programs under SAFETEA-LU to less than 30 programs. The activities for which dedicated funding has been removed have been consolidated into the very broad core programs, leaving States with the flexibility to fund these activities as they see fit. View specific highlights from key areas of the legislation...

 

A hearing was held in the Environment and Public Works Committee on Thursday (July 21) and a markup of the legislation is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, July 27. The EPW Committee rules state that the full legislative text of any measure scheduled for markup must be released at least 72 hours before the markup, and if this falls on a weekend (as it will for a Wednesday markup), then legislative text must be released by close of business on the Friday before the markup. So, if EPW sticks to a July 27 markup date, the full text of their bill will be out there late in the day on Friday, July 22. Once we have access to it, it will be added to the American Trails website...  

 

a3   

Add your organization to the Recreational Trails Council of Advisors! 

 

If you want to help save the Recreational Trails Program and critical funding for your trails, add your voice to the hundreds of groups and communities supporting the Recreational Trails Program now. Invite your Members of Congress and other elected officials to visit a trail, see volunteers at work, or celebrate a trail ground-breaking ceremony or opening. Tell the media, and send news clips to your Congressional offices. Read more about how you can support funding for trails and greenways and download the sign-on form to join the Recreational Trails Council of Advisors. Time is of the essence, please sign-on now and help spread the word through your networks!

 

a4  
House Interior budget would cut LWCF, other programs


On July 8 the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies completed its $27.5 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2012. The bill would cut $2.1 billion from programs within the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Forest Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, Indian Health Service, and other agencies. In particular, the Land and Water Conservation Fund took a big hit. The Federal side of LWCF is funded at $43.9 million, or $123 million less than the $165 million appropriation in FY 2011. The State side of LWCF is $2.8 million, compared to the administration request of $160 million. Read more and see current status...

a5
Comments on proposed "Shared Use Path Accessibility Guidelines"


The Access Board has closed public comment on proposed accessibility guidelines for shared use paths. Shared use paths are designed for both transportation and recreation purposes and are used by pedestrians, bicyclists, skaters, equestrians, and other users. The guidelines will include technical provisions for making newly constructed and altered shared use paths. American Trails as well as California State Parks submitted comments. Read more and see comments...

a6  
GameTime offers American Trails affinity program opportunity


GameTime is pleased to offer American Trails members around the country the opportunity to share in their research, programming, and products. They offer many ways to expand playful opportunities, engage families, and learn something new along the way. In addition to the membership 5% discount, American Trails will receive 5% back to help us continue our mission of creating and protecting America's trails. Read more...

a7  
Join us for the webinar "Making the Case for Trails in Tight Economic Times"


American Trails webinar on "Making the Case for Trails in Tight Economic Times" will put sound ideas and hard numbers together to illustrate the contribution of trails to the prosperity of communities. Learn about some recent studies and enjoy an overview of state and national trends and statistics.

 

Date:  Thursday, September 22, 2011

Time:  10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT / 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

Cost:   $25 American Trails members / $45 non-members

           (all attendees will incur long distance charges)


Hosted by American Trails, Florida Office of Greenways & Trails, and the Great Allegheny Passage Trail Town Program.

 

Space is limited. Learn more and reserve your webinar seat now...

   

a8  
Access Board to publish Proposed Rights-of-Way Guidelines on July 26

Revised guidelines will be published for accessible public rights-of-way, which include crosswalks, curb ramps, street furnishings, pedestrian signals, and parking on July 26. The guidelines will be posted on the Access Board's website and will be available for public comment for four months. The Board will conduct several events to present the proposed rule and to solicit comment, including a public briefing and press conference, a webinar, and hearings. Read more and see additional resources on public rights-of-way...

a9  
Support trails and keep up to date on actions in Washington, DC

American Trails "SUPPORTING TRAILS" pages provide the facts on current issues and debates and the ongoing efforts of American Trails to continue its 20 years of support for positive policies and funding for trails and greenways. Please join our efforts to document the value of trails and bicycle/pedestrian facilities as transportation infrastructure, and be an active and positive voice in the reauthorization process, economic stimulus proposals, and Federal land management agency budgets. We continuously add news and action items to these pages. Check back often and forward this link on through your networks...

news NEWS
a10  
Winners of Coalition for Recreational Trails 2011 Awards announced


Seven trail projects and two State programs have been chosen by the Coalition for Recreational Trails as recipients of its tenth Annual Achievement Awards as part of the annual celebration for Great Outdoors Week. The projects chosen are in recognition of outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program funds. The awards ceremony was held in Washington, DC on June 15, 2011 at the U.S. House of Representatives offices. Read more...

a11  
Trails may be one solution to transients living on public lands


If more people use city woods for recreational purposes, fewer homeless people may use those woods for campsites, said Portsmouth, New Hampshire environmental planner Peter Britz. The Conservation Commission and City Council both endorse plans to create land stewardship programs and trail networks through the city's wooded areas. If trails are established in the city's wooded areas, it would be easier for police to patrol those areas, and more likely, members of the public will report criminal activity, he suggested. Concerns about the camps include booby traps, a lack of bathroom facilities, trampled plants, and accidental or intentional fires. Read more...

a12  
"Five Towns, One Vision:" Norwalk Valley Trail nears fruition


The Norwalk River Valley Trail, an initiative to build a continuous trail through five Connecticut towns (Danbury, Redding, Ridgefield, Wilton, and Norwalk) was an idea born decades ago. Funding for the 27-mile trail, if approved, will come mostly from a Federal Recreational Trails Grant, as well as other State and Federal grants and private donations. State Senator Toni Boucher stopped by during the Ridgefield meeting with much delight from the NRVT crowd; her championing of a bill in 2009 to allow other uses on transportation land gave the project renewed vigor. Read more...

a13  
Bike bridge brings business boom

New numbers are in and the new High Trestle Trail Bridge is an early success. The $14 million trail and high bridge between Madrid and Woodward, Iowa officially opened in April. Trail counts show more than 3,000 people are crossing the bridge each week. Businesses said people are leaving a lot of money along the trail. Residents said it's all because of a bridge, and a view. "It's the best thing, I think, that's ever came here. I think the whole town's going to benefit from it," said one tavern owner. Read more and see video...

a14  
Mules return to lead collaborative effort on the Sheltowee Trace Trail

Volunteer horsemen, hikers, and Daniel Boone National Forest Service personnel enlisted mules to move supplies to improve a section of the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail. The task for the day included moving 200 pieces of pressure-treated lumber about 2,000 feet down the trail over rough terrain and a narrow tread. Organized by the Sheltowee Trace Association Director, Steve Barbour, and President of the Kentucky Back Country Horsemen, Edith Conyers, the all-day project was both exhausting and exhilarating. Read more and see photos...

features FEATURES
a14a
Greenville's trail system is key to a healthier community

As the centerpiece of central Greenville, Falls Park is the hub of new trails and bridges. The improvements have spurred new development that includes a hotel, high-rise housing, and historic preservation, as well as shops and galleries right on the greenway. In addition to the many efforts to reclaim the river and improve the downtown environment, there is a movement to make the entire region healthier. Trails, parks, bike routes, transit, and school programs are all part of the vision, called "LiveWell Greenville." Read more and see photos...

a16  
Iowa trails lead to High Trestle bridge

Ever since the grand opening of the High Trestle Trail on April 30, 2011 there has been a steady stream of people venturing out to enjoy the scenery. Currently, this bridge is more talked about than any other trail project in Iowa. The views of the Des Moines River Valley from the bridge are inspirational. The artistic enhancements give the bridge and the river valley a context and scale, and the river valley provides a beautiful setting for the bridge. Read more and see photos...

a17  
Cheaha Trail Riders support Alabama OHV trails and parks

The Cheaha Trail Riders (CTR) was formed in 1988 by a handful of like-minded individuals who saw the future of off-road recreation being threatened. In particular, CTR members have been heavily involved with the development of Minooka Park, Alabama's first publicly owned off-highway vehicle park. CTR worked with Chilton County officials and Trails Unlimited beginning in 2003 to transform a derelict and inaccessible parcel into a beautiful park. CTR continues to hold workdays at the site throughout the year. Read more and see photos...

a16a  
Featured Trail: McTrail National Recreation Trail, Marion County, WV

McTrail is managed by Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission and is highlighted by a 1,200 foot lighted tunnel. It runs 2.2 miles from Fairmont, WV to Prickett's Fort State Park. Bike rentals are available to patrons at the Prickett's Fort trailhead. The B & O Railroad, between 1890 and 1901, purchased the corridor that is now the rail trail property. The Meredith Tunnel that is the key point of the trail was built in 1914. The trail now has asphalt from end to end and has two very well maintained trailheads. Read more and see photos...

a19  
National Recreation Trails: 17 featured webpages to celebrate new designations

Since the designations of the 41 new National Recreation Trails in June 2011, American Trails has created 17 new webpages (and counting) to celebrate the newly designated National Recreation Trails. This is a great opportunity, besides being listed in the NRT Database, as it's another way to provide exciting and unique information about the trail to site visitors. Check out the 2011 NRT designations now with links to the new Featured Trail pages...

trainingeducation TRAINING & EDUCATION
a20  
Find courses and workshops that YOU can host in your area

If your agency, community, or organization would like to see about hosting a trails training course locally, the National Trails Training Partnership has resources to help. See the "Featured providers of training and resources" webpage on the NTTP website. Many different kinds of training on a wide variety of trail-related topics, from the general to the specialized, are available. Contact the experts, businesses, or groups who can help you provide the best training to volunteers and staff on your own trail system or park. See all the Featured Training Providers...

a21  
Webinars available from NOHVCC on land and recreation management

The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council is creating a full selection of webinars, which will include training for government agency personnel, for OHV enthusiasts, and for others concerned with the safe and responsible use of off-highway vehicles on sustainable trail systems and areas. The first set of webinars, the "Public Land Advocacy" webinar series is now available. Read more and register for upcoming webinars...

a22  
Notes from National Trails Training Partnership, June 17, 2011

The National Trails Training Partnership is an alliance of Federal and State agencies, organizations, colleges, and businesses working to publicize trail training programs and providers, and promote cooperation on training efforts. The most recent meeting in Washington, DC included a comprehensive look at issues and alternatives for the "Trails 101" interagency course. There was also discussion on ways people are doing training delivery. Many interesting resources and training projects were highlighted. Read more...

a23

Learn about classes and training for trail skills across America

 

Check the Online Training Calendar for a wide variety of learning opportunities for volunteers and professionals engaged with trails of all kinds. American Trails, through the NTTP, works with agencies and organizations across America to promote trail-related training. Let us know if we can publicize your training, courses, workshops, or conferences! See details on events below and many more opportunities for training on the Online Trails Training Calendar... 

 

a24
Upcoming trail-related training opportunities:

July 21-23 - Auburn, AL

Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference 

 

July 23-24 - Durango, CO and Mount Sneffels
Fourteener Peak Steward Training

July 30-31 - Norden, CA
2nd Annual Tahoe Trail Skills College

August 11-13 - Pittstown, NY
Subaru/IMBA Trailbuilders School

August 11-14 - Dayton, OH
North Country Trail Annual Conference

August 13 - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Volunteer Trail Crew Training at Portuguese Bend Reserve

August 16-18 - Minneapolis, MN
Safe Routes to School National Conference

August 20-21 - Sutton, AK
Sustainable Trails/Layout & Design Training

August 31-September 2 - Sydney, Australia
Australian National Tracks and Trails Conference

September 22 - Webinar: "Making the Case for Trails in Tight Economic Times"

Hosted by American Trails, Florida Office of Greenways & Trails, and the Great Allegheny Passage Trail Town Program. Reserve your webinar seat now...

October 2-5 - Fort Wayne, IN
Mid America Trails & Greenways Conference

Look for currently scheduled courses and conferences at www.TrailsTraining.net, sponsored by American Trails and the National Trails Training Partnership. Contact us with your scheduled training opportunities at NTTP@AmericanTrails.org

newresources NEW RESOURCES
a25  
Playful pathways: Changing the way families play

Recreation and trail professionals interested in building a pathway to facilitate playful family behavior will find the best practice guidebook, "Pathways for Play," extremely useful. The guidebook addresses how to integrate play into walkable, bikeable networks, offers case studies, and discusses best practice principles for design, to ensure a playful pathway meets the expectations of both trail owners and users. Read more and order the guidebook...

a26  
Sidewalks and shared-use paths: Safety, security, and maintenance

University of Delaware studied current problems of safety, security, and maintenance with bicycle/pedestrian facilities, including a literature review looking at best practices, and interviews of professionals across the country. Topics include accessibility issues, pedestrian safety conflicts, trail user conflicts, signage, and uniform guidelines and consistency. Recommendations for quality design and construction are included along with maintenance, management, and education policies and priorities. Read more and download full study...

a27  
Planning for the security of trail users: Examples from trail plans

As with any other public use facility, the safety and security of trail users should be a priority of planning. While crime along trails is not common, there are a number of common-sense elements to be looked at in creating a trail security plan. One key issue, noted in the Truckee Trails & Bikeways Master Plan: "Local law enforcement staff must be in tune to the trail and development plans for the trail. As each segment of trail is developed, early involvement of law enforcement staff is critical." Read more...

a28  
Grand Canyon Greenway makes trails a key part of park transportation

Grand Canyon National Park's trail crew has completed work on Phase V of the Grand Canyon Greenway. Linking to the popular Rim Trail, the new stretch provides a continuous, paved, accessible trail from Grand Canyon Village to the South Kaibab Trailhead. The goal of the Greenway, as envisioned in the park's 1995 General Management Plan, is to create a system of multi-use, accessible trails throughout the park. The trail system encourages non-motorized modes of travel, while giving visitors a new way to experience the park. Read more and see photos...

a29  
Photo gallery: Solving wheelchair accessibility issues for trail bridges

One accessibility problem area is the joint between bridge and trail surface. Typically these are two different materials, such as a wood bridge deck meeting a dirt trail. Or in an urban situation, a hundred foot long span meets a concrete or asphalt trail. To do this without creating a "vertical obstruction" can be challenging, and may require a patch or filler. Fixing these potential barriers will also benefit other trail users, because a lip or gap at a bridge can cause pedestrians to trip or bicyclists to lose control. Read more and see photo gallery...

joinAT JOIN THE AMERICAN TRAILS NETWORK
a30

Help American Trails fight for funding and support for trails


Now is a great time to join American Trails to help us advocate for trails and greenways of every kind. With your help, we can increase funding for trails, keep more trails open, and improve the health and well being of Americans of all ages and abilities. Please help us continue to serve you and the trails community by enlisting a new member or renewing your own membership today. Give the gift that makes a difference ~ an American Trails membership...

 

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Header photo: Mt. Shasta, CA, photo by Stuart Macdonald