Many of our trails that we recreate on in Southeastern National Forests are comprised of either partially or wholly old logging road corridors. These trails were never designed to be environmentally sustainable nor the best experience for hikers, mountain bikers or equestrians. They cause natural resource degradation and require many hours of volunteer work to manage. These are what we call legacy trails, trails that we inherited from many years of folks traveling on them and consequently became part of the Forest’s designated trail system. This trail assessment class is an opportunity for Forest volunteers to make a difference on the quality of trails we leave for future generations.
The US Forest Service is partnering with SORBA and IMBA through a cost share agreement to develop training for both volunteers and Forest Service employees on how to assess the current conditions of trails within our National Forests. This training is for all non motorized trail users, hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers.
The training will be led by IMBA Trail Solutions regarding best practices for assessing trails that are currently in use. IMBA has been at the forefront of sustainable natural surface trails for the last 30 years. Using their extensive knowledge, IMBA will train volunteers and Forest Service employees to properly assess current trail conditions. These assessments will then be used to develop a maintenance plan and program of work to keep the trails in a sustainable condition. Action items identified will help guide the agency and our partners to assist in developing cost estimates for completing the identified work so these trails can be enjoyed for years to come.
Through funding from the US Forest Service, this initial training will consist of two virtual training sessions and one required day in the field. The course will be capped at 25 participants. We are seeking participants who actively participate in volunteer efforts within their local National Forest or are currently employed by the US Forest Service. We encourage applications from all non motorized user groups to participate! The virtual training will be held on June 21 and June 28, 2022 at 4:00 – 6:00pm. The on site portion will be held November 18 and 19, 2022 in Brevard, NC. All applicants will need to provide their own travel expenses to the on site training.
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