Ever increasing in popularity, trails and recreational access are increasingly incorporated into land trust conservation projects. Trails facilitate physical and emotional human connection to the natural world that increase relevancy of land conservation. But not all trails are created equal—those not carefully planned, designed, built and managed can become detriments to conservation values that land trusts first sought to protect. A relatively new science, trail sustainability is still unknown to many land trusts. By understanding & implementing its principals, land trusts can effectively balance public recreation and natural resource protection. A sustainable trail will minimize impact to conservation values, reduce management burden and offer an enhanced user experience—a win-win-win that will convince even the most staunch skeptics of public access. Presenters will interactively showcase bad vs. sustainable trails, convey critical concepts in developing trails to minimize impact to resources, and demonstrate how to capably incorporate recreation on protected lands while being sensitive to conservation values. This workshop will introduce a sustainable trails standards and policy developed and adopted by Conserving Carolina and present it as a model for developing initial trails policy by other land trusts.
Session Level: Basic Session Location: Raleigh Convention Center