Invited to Lend a Hand
Pacific Southwest Region
Identify Priority Trail Maintenance Work
volunteers integral to addressing maintenance backlog
Bernardino, California, March 20, 2017____
The Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5) is invites
the public 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.
Nationwide, the Forest Service will select nine to
15 priority areas
among its nine regions where a backlog in trail maintenance contributed to
reduced access, potential harm to natural resources or trail users and/or has
the potential for increased future deferred maintenance costs.
Region 5 manages more than 16,000 miles of trails
enjoyed by 16,100,000 users each year. In Region 5, volunteers and partner groups
contributed more than 178,000 hours in maintenance and repair of nearly 2,984
miles of trails last year.
Region 5 has until April 15, 2017 to submit at
least three regional proposals to National Headquarters. Those proposals will be
weighed against proposal submitted by other Forest Service regions.
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.
selected sites will be part of the initial focus that will include a mosaic of
areas with known trail maintenance needs that include areas near urban and
remote areas, such as wilderness, are of varying sizes and trail lengths, are
motorized and non-motorized, and those that incorporate a varied combination of
partner and volunteer approaches and solutions.
The Forest Service manages more than 158,000 miles
of trail – the largest trail system in the nation – providing motorized and
non-motorized trail access across 154 national forests and grasslands. These Forest Service
trails are well-loved and highly used with more than 84 million trail visits
annually, helping to support mostly rural economies.
Forest Service receives widespread support from tens of thousands of volunteers
and partners each year who, in 2015, contributed nearly 1.4 million hours – a
value of about $31.6 million – in maintenance and repair of nearly 30,000 miles
limited funding compounded by the rising cost of wildfire operations, has
resulted in less than 25 percent of Forest Service trails meeting all of the
agency’s standards for safety, quality recreation and economic and
environmental sustainability. The remaining trails meet standard to varying
PUBLIC NOTICE: To provide ideas and
suggestions on potential priority areas and approaches for incorporating
increased trail maintenance assistance from partners and volunteers, contact
your local Forest Service office or Regional Trail Program Manager Garrett
Villanueva at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 7.
“We are counting on
our fellow Californians to help us identify where maintenance is needed,” said
Randy Moore, regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region. “The forest
visitors who enjoy these trails year-round are the best source of information
for what’s needed on the ground, and we’re counting on their expertise and
willingness to help.”