Thursday, February 2, 2017

FS National Trail Strategy Issues Call to Action

Trail Stewardship Key to Quality Recreation
Don Amador on Mendocino NF

As heavy winter storms continue to pound federal lands in the West, QWR believes it is important for the OHV community to accept the Forest Service’s CALL TO ACTION as outlined in their December 2016 National Strategy for a Sustainable Trail System.


Heavy Storm Impacts Highlight Need for Partnerships
to Help with Trail Clearing

QWR agrees with the agency that the time to build on past successes, integrate new partnerships and ideas, and improve contemporary trail management practices for the Forest Service trail system is now.

QWR commends the Forest Service for its work over the last several years to create this foundational document that encourages a “trail culture” in the agency by identifying the following action items:

Areas of Action:

1.            Leader Intent: Cultivate leadership desire for and commitment to a sustainable trail                             system.

2.            Organization and Talent: Leverage an expanded and combined workforce to increase                        stewardship capacity.

3.            Relevancy: Connect with diverse communities and trail users.

4.            Sustainable Systems: Collaboratively create and achieve a common vision.

5.            Agency Processes and Culture: Maximize opportunities for effective partnering and trail                    stewardship.

6.            Information: Provide readily available, up-to-date, and credible trail information.

The document correctly notes that a generation ago, nearly every ranger district had its own trail crew, but that is no longer the case. The Forest Service will overcome a significant reduction in field staff by moving from a model of “doing it all” to a model of shared stewardship in order to achieve mutual goals and receive shared benefits.

High Winds Knock Down Trees Across System Trail

Having just gotten back from helping clear post-storm downed trees that were blocking trails on the Mendocino National Forest helped reinforce QWR’s axiom that a quality trail program does not happen by accident.  It is the result of a strong partnership with the trail community and the agency’s commitment to a substantive volunteer program.

Clearing Downed Trees Across a SxS/ATV/MC Connector Trail

QWR believes the National Trails Strategy outlines a path for success that can be used by units that are in the process of creating and managing a sustainable trail network.  The report can also be used by ranger districts to help infuse new energy and ideas into their existing recreation program and partnerships.

Trail Recon to Look at Post Storm Impacts

QWR encourages users and agency recreation staff to read this report and use it to help foster relationships with a goal to work together in a collaborative effort to be good stewards of the land and our trail systems. 

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