Trail Management Tools
Forest Service trail managers apply standardized concepts and tools to administer the over 160,000 miles of National Forest Service system trails. These concepts help trail managers across all forest and grasslands to design, construct, and maintain trails in a similar way that provides a consistent user experience.
The trail management tools also support implementation of the Forest Service’s National Trail Strategy and 10-Year Trail Shared Stewardship Challenge.
Trail Fundamentals include five key concepts that are cornerstones of Forest Service trail management: Trail Type, Trail Class, Managed Use, Designed Use, and Trail Design Parameters. Trail Fundamentals are individually prescribed for each National Forest System Trail via Trail Management Objectives (TMOs), which document the intended purpose and management of each trail.
The Forest Service National Crosscut and Chainsaw Program manages the use of chainsaws and crosscut saws on National Forest System lands. Forest Service employees, volunteers, partners, and other cooperators can now access consistent training, evaluation, and certification. A highlight of the new policy enables volunteer, partner, and cooperator groups to train, evaluate, and certify their members.
TRACS is the Forest Service’s required methodology for conducting trail inventory, condition assessment and prescriptions for National Forest System trails. TRACS provides standardized terminology, business rules and data fields which are integrated with the agency’s corporate database and used for planning, management, cost estimation, and reporting.
The Forest Service Standard Trail Plans and Specifications are intended for use in the design, construction, and maintenance of National Forest System trails and trail bridges. These plans and specifications are also available for use by other federal, state, and local agencies, communities, trail partners, volunteers, and other entities.
For More Information
If you have questions or comments, please contact Forest Service Trail Management.