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The CoTrails Initiative Releases Trail Assesment, Begins Next Phase

CoTrails Participants, Thank you to the many of you who participated in this week’s CoTrails general meeting at the USFS-Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest Supervisor's Office in Gainesville, GA.

It was another productive and informative session. Jeremy Wimpey, who led the professional trails assessment team, presented the highlights of their final report on the 200+ miles of selected recreational trails they assessed. The full report is now available online for your review at this link:

Our next step in this process is for CoTrails volunteers to evaluate another 250 miles on approximately 100 system trails on the four CONF Ranger Districts. Volunteer coordinators will organize, schedule and facilitate this work over the next few weeks. Our goal is to complete these evaluations, which we are calling Volunteer Trail Evaluations, by the end of the summer. Practically everyone who attended the June 12 meeting signed up to help with these evaluations -- Thank you! However, we still need a larger group of volunteers to complete this next phase of our CoTrails Strategic Plan on schedule. We hope many of you who could not attend this week's meeting will volunteer and ask a friend to join you.

To help with this work, please contact the District Volunteer Coordinators responsible for the Ranger District(s) where you would like to volunteer. Their names and contact details are listed at the end of this message. They will be available to answer your questions and provide additional information. Volunteers will work in teams of at least 2 persons each. A mix of user group representation in each team is highly encouraged to benefit from the unique perspectives of the different users. Volunteer Coordinators will lead this effort in each of the Ranger Districts and have scheduled an in-the-field practice session on June 26 at 6:00 PM. All volunteers are welcome. If you are interested in participating, contact Larry Thomas for details, by email or by phone (770) 297-3030.

The following documents for the volunteer trail evaluations process are posted under the Resources tab at at the following link:

  • Evaluation Process Instructions – Three Simple Steps
  • Volunteer Trail Evaluation Form – to be completed by volunteers for each trail
  • Trails List -- 250 miles of trails to be evaluated by volunteers
  • Sample TMO -- Trail Management Objective for Slaughter Creek Trail

Also at this week’s CoTrails meeting we had an update from the Volunteer Engagement & Training Team that has been busy on a number of fronts, including the development of a Crew Leader Handbook for trail work and Crew Leader Certification Courses that will be offered in September. For more information on these, and to be notified when the course dates are set, contact Gary Monk at

The next CoTrails General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 7 at 6:00 PM at the USFS-CONF Supervisor's Office in Gainesville. Check the events calendar on regularly for all CoTrails events and for other volunteer opportunities, workdays, etc. on the Forest at this link:

If you have questions, suggestions, or want to volunteer for this or other CoTrails projects, use the Contact link on the website or contact a CoTrails Working Group member or a District Volunteer Coordinator. The success of the CoTrails Initiative and the future of recreational trails on the Forest are dependent on the participation of a growing number of volunteers. We need your ongoing involvement and ask you to invite others in your respective user groups to join.

Sincerely, CoTrails Working Group /

PS - If you wish to be added to the CoTrails email list, please use the Contact link.

Volunteer Trail Evaluations Contact Information

Ranger District Coordinators & FS Staff
Blue Ridge Ranger District
Debbie Crowe - / 404-316-7956
Bill Decker - / 706-632-8348 or 561-373-9818
Dave Muse - / 678-778-8527
FS Staff - Taylor Hamilton - / 706-745-6928

Chattooga River Ranger District:
Audrey Moylan - / 706-348-6363 or 706-892-5560
Keith Owen - / 706-776-5452 or 706-499-3893
FS Staff - Bill Elliott / / 706-754-6221

Conasauga Ranger District:
Carlos Martel - / 706-374-7075 or 404-906-1767
Terry Palmeri - / 706-515-5221
FS Staff - Ryan Farr - / 706-695-6736

Oconee Ranger District:
Randy Brown - / 478-288-6684
Dayle Faulkner - / 706-340-7176
FS Staff - David Fowler - / 706-485-7110