Saturday, June 25, 2016

Coalition for Recreational Trails 2016 ANNUAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

Award-winning trail projects and programs funded through the Recreational Trails Program of the Federal Highway Administration

Winners have been announced for the 2016 Annual Achievement Awards in recognition of outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds. The awards ceremony hosted by the Coalition for Recreational Trails was held in Washington, DC on June 8, 2016 at U.S. House of Representatives offices. Representing CRT were Marianne Fowler, Co-Chair, and Duane Taylor, Vice Chair and Awards Committee Chair. We were also honored by the assistance of Barbara McCann, Director of the Office of Safety, Energy, and Environment in the Policy Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The awards are part of annual efforts by national trails and outdoor recreation organizations to promote the importance of RTP funding to States across America.

The trail programs and project sponsors honored for 2016 are listed below by category of award:

Cochran Mill Park Trail - Georgia

Maintenance and Rehabilitation

Project funded construction of a 2.5 mile interpretive trail, trail-building machinery, maps and markers, information kiosk, and an equestrian mounting block to improve accessibility.


Kanab Creek OHV Bridge - Utah

Construction and Design

Replacement of an often-flooded stream crossing with a new bridge built from a recycled 60-foot overhead crane beam to access many miles of trails for off-highway vehicle recreationists as well as nonmotorized trail users.


Gypsum City Off-Highway Vehicle Park - Iowa

Public-Private Partnerships Enhancing Public Lands Access and Use

Development of an 800-acre riding area for recreational vehicles including campground construction, park and trail signs, habitat restoration, and landscape plantings.


Ash to Kings Trail - Nevada

Community Linkage

RTP-funded projects included bridge installation and trail construction using Nevada Conservation Corps work crews, as well as trail construction tools for volunteers.

photo of workers on steep slope

NevaDA Conservation Corps crew on the Ash to Kings trail


Great Trails: Providing Quality OHV Trails and Experiences Guidebook - National

Education and Communication

Development of a major resource for planning, designing, constructing, maintaining, and managing OHV recreational trails and trail systems.


Dolan Springs Trail - Arizona

Multiple-Use Management and Corridor Sharing

Installation of a vault toilet and wayside benches, relocation of an eroded portion of the trail, plus signs to improve safety, trail maps and brochures, and “Leave No Trace” educational materials.


Graber Pond Accessible Trail - Wisconsin

Accessibility Enhancement

Accessible trail in the city of Middleton along a pond and wetlands includes boardwalks, a fishing pier, and an accessible launch facility for kayaks and canoes.


Rock Creek Park Bridge Project - District of Columbia

Youth Conservation/Service Corps and Community Outreach

Student Conservation Association worked with the National Park Service to build four trail bridges at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC.


Utah Conservation Corps Bike Crew - Utah

Youth Conservation/Service Corps and Community Outreach

The trail crew used bicycles as their only transportation in improving trails at Utah State Parks site.


Eureka Trail - Tennessee

Engaging Public-Sector Partners

RTP funding enabled the acquisition of 4.3 miles of abandoned CSX rail line from Athens to Englewood, which has since been developed as a multiuse trail.


Trails Advisory Board - Indiana

Outstanding State Recreational Trails Advisory Committee

The Indiana Trails Advisory Board includes both motorized and nonmotorized users who represent their constituents, not industry or agency, interests in trails to the board as well as sharing important trail information to them.

The Recreational Trails Program

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) of the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses. RTP funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund, and represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from nonhighway recreational fuel use. Since 1991, more than 20,000 RTP-funded projects have been fuunded nationwide and are documented on the RTP database: The RTP leverages hundreds of millions of dollars of additional support from other sources for trails, encourages productive cooperation among trail users, and facilitates healthy outdoor recreation and economic activity across America.

For more information on each of these trails, see

Friday, June 24, 2016

California: Trail users protest proposal to limit access in state parks - Full Story


SAN DIEGO -- Concerned hikers, bikers and equestrians met with state park officials Wednesday to argue against new rules that could restrict their access to San Diego's two largest parks.

An overflow crowd packed the hearing room at the San Diego County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa for a public meeting with Alexandra Stehl, the Roads and Trails Manager for the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Many feared that popular parts of the Anza Borrego Desert State Park and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park would be place off limits by a proposed regulation change. The rule, as proposed by park officials in Sacramento, would prohibit off-trail access in cultural and natural preserves within state parks...

Mire here:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

New National Recreational Trails designated for 2016

Secretary Jewell, National Park Service Director Jarvis Announce 6 New National Recreation Trails

On June 3, 2016, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis announced the designation of six local and state National Recreation Trails to the National Trails System.

“By designating these new National Trails, we recognize the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone,” said Jewell. “Our world-class network of national trails provides easily accessible places to enjoy exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas while also boosting tourism and supporting economic opportunities in local communities across the country.”

“The network of national recreation and water trails offers expansive opportunities for Americans to explore the great outdoors,” said Jarvis. “With summer here, I hope everyone will take advantage of a trail nearby to hike, paddle or bike. It’s a great family outing and an opportunity to fill your lungs with fresh air and enjoy the beauty of the world around us.”

National Recreation Trail designation recognizes existing trails and trail systems that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the Nation. Each of the newly designated trails will receive a certificate of designation, a set of trail markers and a letter of congratulations from Secretary Jewell.

Both the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture have the authority to approve designations in response to an application from the trail's managing agency or organization. The National Recreation Trails Program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the Forest Service in conjunction with a number of other federal and not-for-profit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the National Recreation Trails website.

The following trails were designated as National Recreation Trails for 2016:

CALIFORNIA: Backbone Trail
CONNECTICUT: Shetucket River Water Trail
FLORIDA: Bartram Trail in Putnam County
MAINE: Johnson Brook Trail
OKLAHOMA: Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area Trails
WASHINGTON: Roche Harbor Trails

Read more about the trails here:

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The land transfer movement’s great public-lands hoax - Full Article

Idaho has sold off 40 percent of its state lands. Why would it do any different with formerly federal lands?

Brad Brooks
June 2, 2016

The disturbing thing about scams is that all too often they work. Some are easy to spot, like the foreign cousin you didn’t know you had who calls and needs cash wired immediately. Here in Idaho, the scam of the moment involves politicians trying hard to convince us that states should take control of public lands now managed by the federal government.

Like good used car salesmen, the legislators hawking this free-the-public-lands scam want you to believe that the deal is too good to walk away from. But a look under the hood reveals that the salesmen aren’t telling the whole story.

Recently, as a start at getting at the truth, The Wilderness Society conducted an analysis of how Idaho treats the lands it already manages. What the nonprofit organization found makes it hard to believe that Idaho politicians wouldn’t move quickly to sell off and close access to our public lands. Of the lands granted to Idaho when it became a state, Idaho has sold off 1.7 million acres –– just over 40 percent –– of the original amount. The primary buyers have been mining and timber companies. Other state lands sold off have since been developed into strip malls, country clubs and private fishing clubs...

Read more here: