USGS Plans National Trails Program to Link More Trails

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By Charles Pekow — Imagine a national digital list and map of all trails on federal recreational land. It's on the way. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced plans to create a National Digital Trails Project–Trails Data Portal. But the map will be geared toward maintaining trails and linking them, not helping riders locate them.

The project includes three main goals:

  1. A web-based geospatial analysis tool to assist federal land managers identify and prioritize connecting trails and trail networks.
  2. Creating “a robust nationwide geospatial trails dataset including, at a minimum, trails from key federal agencies including the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Forest Service.
  3. A “mobile responsive application that will assist trail stewards, land management agencies, and members of the public in the maintenance of trails information.”

USGS opened a public comment period until August 2, 2021. It especially wants comments on creating the dataset, which will involve collecting information from federal, state and local officials and non-profits. Trail managers will login to provide info for the dataset. But participation will be voluntary so the list may not include all trails.

For details and to send comments, see https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-06-01/html/2021-11017.htm

 

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