Since the start of 2012, trail enthusiasts and others with knowledge of non-motorized trails in North Carolina have been involved in providing input on the US Forest Service trail planning process.
This effort, referred to as the NC Non-motorized Trails Strategy, has given partners the opportunity to identify sustainable trail systems in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests.
A wide variety of collaborators have been involved in this transparent and inclusive process.
During work sessions held near the national forests in 2012, collaborators:
Shared the types of trail experiences that are enjoyable to them.
Identified a larger landscape and recreation context into which existing trails fit on national forest and non-forest lands.
Identified how quality trail recreation will be sustainably and collaboratively managed.
The results will be recommendations for sustainable, quality trail systems that:
Offer a variety of high quality experiences for a variety of users.
Are ecologically sustainable that reduce or avoid impacts to other resources.
Provide improved networks of trails and trail complexes, including loops and connectors, to meet user interests.
Inform the US Forest Service management process.
Increase volunteer support in the management and sustainability of forest trail systems.
Final Trail Strategy Meeting Scheduled for Nantahala - Pisgah National Forests
The U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina has announced the dates and locations of the last two meetings held as part of the Non-motorized Trail Strategy initiative for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests.
The meetings will be held at the following days and locations:
Pisgah National Forest, Feb. 14, 6:00-8:00 p.m., UNCA Sherrill Center, Mountain View Conference Room, Asheville, NC
Nantahala National Forest, Feb. 19, 6:00-8:00 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, Tartan Hall, 26 Church Street, Franklin, NC
The National Forests in North Carolina began "Trail Strategy" collaborative meetings in early 2012 with the objective of identifying needs for a sustainable trail system on the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. The collaborative process continued into last summer with a series of district-level, working meetings with key collaborators representing a broad range of trail user groups.
Analysis of Trail Strategy collaborator comments and trail condition data resumed this past December. The Forest Service is compiling the information into a Trail Strategy document, which will guide future trail management projects and inform the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest Management Plan revision process. Agency employees will present key elements of the draft Trail Strategy document during the two meetings. The agency will post the draft summary on the Trail Strategy webpage, www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nctrailstrategy, in mid-February 2013.
Working Meetings Were Completed
An introductory workshop was offered in five locations across the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests in January, 2012. Nearly 270 participants attended, representing over 70 organizations. Through an “all-lands” approach, participants identified opportunities to link lands and communities with national forest lands. They also defined a quality trail experience for a variety of trail users and offered input on sustainable management of trails.
District-specific meetings took place on each of the six districts in April and May 2012. These meetings identified key collaborators and defined trail complexes in detail. During these meetings collaborators also had the chance to discuss and document individual trail needs, and propose solutions to the problems they are experiencing while in the forest.
The next phase of the process is now underway. Two public forest wide meetings will be held in February 2013, to discuss the draft Trails Strategy document.