Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Featured Recreational Trails Program-funded project: Blue Tree Trail System, Nevada

Americantrails.org - Full Article

The Blue Tree Trail System is a 50-mile nonmotorized trail network used by hikers, equestrians, mountain bicyclists, and trail runners. In 2005, the Forest Service received the necessary funding to perform an analysis of the eroding trails that were harming plants and wildlife, eventually leading to funding provided by the Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program. Approximately 17 miles of the new trail and construction were accomplished through the gr  ant, with the majority of the work completed by youth corps workers.

Education and Communication

• Sponsor/Partners: Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest; Great Basin Institute; Bristlecone Chapter of The Back Country Horsemen of Nevada; Spring Mountains Youth Camp; Clark County
• Congressional District: Dina Titus (D-1-NV)
• Senators: Harry Reid (D-NV) and Dean Heller (R-NV)


The Blue Tree Trail System was first brought to the attention of the Forest Service in the late 1990s. It was brought forward by local equestrians and mountain bikers with the request to formally designate and maintain a grouping of game and user-worn paths. The majority of designated trails at that time were off limits to mountain bikes because the trails entered designated wilderness and were all of an out-and-back, uphill-downhill nature.

Early in 2005 the Forest Service obtained the necessary funding to perform an environmental assessment through the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act (SNPLMA). The analysis revealed cultural sites, sensitive endemic plants, wildlife concerns and many sections of trail that were poorly aligned and eroding as well as causing impacts to plants, wildlife and cultural sites.

No money had been provided for implementation however once the analysis was complete and the decision was signed; and this is where the Recreational Trail Program (RTP) made our planning and the dreams of trail users a reality. This is a 50-mile nonmotorized trail system used by hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers and trail runners...

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