The Smoky Mountain Hiking Blog

300 million trail maintenance backlog on national forests and grasslands. Focused path work in these areas, bolstered by volunteers and companions, is expected to help address needed infrastructure work so that paths maintained by USDA Forest Service can be reached and safely enjoyed by a multitude of trails enthusiasts. About 25 % of agency paths fit those specifications as the condition of other paths lag behind.

“Our nation’s trails are a vital part of the American landscape and rural economies, and these concern areas are a major first rung on the ladder in USDA’s on-the-ground responsibility to make paths better and safer,” Secretary Perdue said. “The path maintenance backlog was years in the making with a mixture of factors adding to the problem, including an out-of-date funding system that consistently borrows money from programs, such as trails, to fight ongoing wildfires. This season the country celebrates the 50th wedding anniversary of the National Trails Systems Act which founded America’s system of nationwide scenic, historical, and recreation paths.

A year focused on trails presents a pivotal chance for the Forest Service and companions to lead a shift toward something of sustainable trails that are maintained through even broader distributed stewardship. Shared stewardship to accomplish on-the-ground results is definitely core to Forest Service’s approach to trail maintenance, as showed by partner groupings like the Pacific Crest Trail Association and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

9 million in visitor spending. The 15 national trail maintenance concern areas encompass large regions of land and each have committed partners to help get the work achieved. • Methow Valley Ranger District, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington: Methow Valley is a rural recreation-based community encircled by more than 1.3 million acres of managed by the Forest Service.

The area includes trails through the Pasayten and Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness Areas and more than 130 kilometers of National Pacific Crest and Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trails. • Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico: The trail’s 3,100 constant miles follows the backbone of the Rocky Mountains from Mexico to Canada, including more than 1,900 miles of paths across 20 national forests. The trail runs a diverse route with some areas in specified wilderness others and areas running right through towns, providing those communities with the chance to boost the local economy with tourism dollars.

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• Wyoming Forest Gateway Communities: Nearly 1,000 miles of path stretch over the almost 10 million acres of agency-managed lands in Wyoming, such as six national forests and one nationwide grassland. The contribution to the state’s outdoor recreation overall economy is extremely important in the state therefore. • Angeles National Forest, California: The area, which includes nearly 1,000 miles of trails, is immediately adjacent to the greater Los Angeles area where 15 million people live within 90 minutes and more than 3 million visit. A lot of those visitors are young people from disadvantaged communities without local parks.

• Greater Prescott Trail System, Arizona: This 300-mile system of trails is a demo of work between your Forest Service and multiple companions. The system is integrated with all open public lands at the federal government, state and local level to generate a community-based trail system. • Colorado Fourteeners: Every year, thousands of hikers trek along over 200 kilometers of trail to gain access to Colorado’s mountains that are greater than 14,000 foot. The Forest Service handles 48 of the 54 fourteeners, because they are commonly called. • White Mountain National Forest Partner Complex, Maine and New Hampshire: Approximately 600 miles of non-motorized trails are maintained by partners. Another 600 mls of motorized snowmobile paths are managed and used by several clubs.

Much of that work centers on providing safe open public access to the hill and valleys of New Hampshire and Maine. • Iditarod National Historic Trail Southern Trek, Alaska: In southcentral Alaska, the Southern Trek is in close proximity to more than half the state’s populace and attaches with one of the most heavily journeyed highways in the condition. The Chugach National Forest and partners are restoring and developing more than 180 mls of the trail system, hooking up the communities of Seward, Moose Pass, Whittier, and Girdwood.