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CORE TRACK SESSIONS

 

arrow View our complete schedule at a glance to see all Symposium events

arrow Download the 40-page Symposium Program with all the great events and activities (pdf 3.1 mb)

arrow See biographies of Core Track & Concurrent Session presenters (pdf 289 kb)

A major innovation for this year’s Symposium is a new format option called Core Tracks. Core Tracks are designed to allow presenters to explore subjects in greater depth with ample time for discussion, examples, and practice, and some sessions include field work.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) were offered for most of these sessions through one of the Symposium's sponsors, the Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS), an authorized independent CEU provider through IACET (International Association for Continuing Education and Training).

CORE TRACKS SCHEDULE


MONDAY, APRIL 15 

Time: 8:15 – 11:15 a.m.

 

FACT NOT FICTION: MEASURING TRAIL IMPACTS FOR BETTER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

arrow View this presentation online...

arrow Download "Lab Exercise Workbook" for this session (pdf 1.7 mb)

This session will help participants develop quantitative methods for assessing the impact of trail use for Resource Management Plans (RMPs). There also will be practice exercises for participants to begin applying these general concepts to their own circumstances.

Speakers: Dan Gruber, Volunteer Conservation Steward, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, Phoenix, AZ; Chelsey Hull, Plant Biology Major (ASU) and Intern, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Field Institute, Phoenix, AZ; Melanie Tluczek, Research Coordinator, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Field Institute, Phoenix, AZ

 

HIKERS, MOUNTAIN BIKERS, AND EQUESTRIANS – OH MY!

arrow View Sustainable Mountain Biking presentation online...

This presentation will detail how the Arizona Trail Association (ATA) has addressed the special needs of trail users other than hikers, such as mountain bikers, equestrians, trail runners, handcyclists, and other non-motorized outdoor recreationalists. Trails aren’t just for hiking anymore. We will also hear from Patrick Kell of the International Mountain Biking Association, who has worked as an advocate for the mountain bike community around the world, collaborating with hikers, equestrians, land managers, and other trail stakeholders to preserve the areas we all use (and love). He is skilled at helping people understand the important role that mountain bikers play in trail protection and development, and helps dispel common misconceptions about mountain biking, its community, and its impact.

Speakers: Mark Flint, President, Southwest Trail Solutions, Tucson, AZ; Jan Hancock, Principal Designer and Consultant, Hancock Equestrian Resources, Phoenix, AZ; Patrick Kell, Southwest Regional Director, International Mountain Biking Association, Boulder, CO; Matthew Nelson, Executive Director, Arizona Trail Association, Phoenix, AZ

 

3D COLLABORATIVE PROCESS – YOU, ME, AND WE: INDIVIDUAL COMPETENCIES AND INTENTIONAL STRATEGIES FOR COLLABORATIVE PLANNING

arrow View this presentation online...


This session is a compressed, introductory version of a 3-day training developed by NPS-Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program staff to improve collaborative planning methods, processes, and outcomes for anyone who works with conservation and/or natural resource management issues. Real world examples and interactive exercises will reinforce the lessons for this session.

Speakers: Cate Bradley, Community Planner – Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program, National Park Service, Tucson, AZ; Joy Lujan, Community Planner – Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program, National Park Service, Denver, CO

 

WATER TRAILS: CONNECTING PEOPLE, ENHANCING COMMUNITIES ~ PART 1 and PART 2

arrow View Waccamaw River presentation online...

arrow View Kansas River presentation online...

arrow View River Database presentation online...

arrow View Verde River presentation online...

arrow View Vancouver Lake presentation online...

arrow View National Blueways presentation online...

arrow View National Water Trails System presentation online...

arrow View Water Trails Technology presentation online...


This program will explore the latest developments and most pressing issues in the field of water trails. This includes state-of-the-art technology, mapping, and services; innovative strategies for improving water-based recreation, economic development, and conservation; and new national initiatives that aid in the development of water trails. 

Speakers: Jean Akers, Chief Park Planner, Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation, Vancouver, WA; Linda Craghead, Assistant Secretary, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Topeka, KS; Lelia Mellen, Water Trail National Leader, Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, National Park Service, Woodstock, VT; Jamie Mierau, Director – River Protection, American Rivers, Washington, D.C.; Walter Opuszynski, Trail Director, Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Waitsfield, VT; Risa Shimoda, Executive Director, River Management Society, Takoma Park, MD; Kristen Sykes, Director of Conservation Strategies, Appalachian Mountain Club, Boston, MA; Staci Williams, Waccamaw River Blue Trail Organizer, American Rivers, Conway, SC; Doug Von Gausig, Mayor, Clarkdale, AZ

 

 

MONDAY, APRIL 15 

Time: 1:45 – 4:45 p.m.

 

CONVERSATIONS ON OHV MANAGEMENT: EXPERIENCES FROM ALASKA AND A PANEL DISCUSSION ON NOHVCC'S NEW PUBLICATION, "CREATING GREAT OHV TRAILS"

arrow View Kevin Meyer's presentation online...

arrow View Great OHV Trails presentation online...

Multi-use trails are great recreation opportunities for a diversity of users that enjoy sharing trails. In this session, we will discuss how to create and manage great trails for off-highway vehicle (OHV) and non-motorized recreation. Many public lands around the world are managed for multiple uses and our challenge is to create a great recreation experience for as many trail users as possible. We will discuss the challenges of managing OHV trails in Alaska and review a U.S. Forest Service publication that covers sustainable trail design concepts and a 10-element framework for OHV trails management.  The session includes an introduction on trail condition assessments, evaluation of management options, trail prescriptions, and trail hardening techniques. We will also discuss a new publication that is in the works, Great OHV Trails – A Guide to OHV Trail Design, Construction & Management, being developed by the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) in cooperation with OHV managers from across the U.S. and Canada. Your participation during the session will directly contribute to the development of the guide. The session will conclude with a panel discussion on OHV recreation and multi-use trails.

Speakers and Panelists: Kevin Meyer, Regional Trails Specialist (retired), National Park Service, Anchorage, AK; Drew Stoll, Outdoor Recreation Planner/Managing Editor, NOHVCC/Great Outdoors Consultants, Fort Collins, CO; Jim Keeler, Travel Management Coordinator (Retired), USDI, Bureau of Land Management; Dan Kleen, President, NOHVCC, Pocahontas, IA; Karen Umphress, IT and Project Manager, NOHVCC, Jordan, MN; Jason Stinchfield, Natural Resource Specialist, U.S. Forest Service, Escalante, UT

 

FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN: REPSPONDING TO, RECOVERING FROM, AND PREVENTING THE DEVASTATING EFFECTS OF FIRE ON OUR TRAILS ~ PART 1 and PART 2

arrow View this presentation online...


This presentation will detail how the Arizona Trail Association (ATA) is dealing with catastrophic fires along the Arizona National Scenic Trail; how communities, land managers, and volunteers are working together to prevent loss of resources; and how future impacts of fire can be minimized by progressive preventive measures.

Speakers:  Mike Brandt, Project Manager, Pine/Strawberry Fuel Reduction, Inc.; Dr. Mary Lata, Fire Ecologist, Four Forest Restoration Initiative, Flagstaff, AZ; Brian Poturalski, Recreation and Wilderness Staff Officer, Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff, AZ; Matt Roberts, Director, American Conservation Experience, Flagstaff, AZ

 

BUILDING TRAIL TOWNS: ENCOURAGING INVOLVEMENT AND BUILDING CAPACITY WITHIN GATEWAY COMMUNITIES TO TRAIL SYSTEMS ~ PART 1 and PART 2

arrow View PA Trail Towns presentation online...

arrow View Arizona Trail Towns presentation online...

arrow View Superior, AZ Trail Towns presentation online...

Small towns located near trailheads can be as important as the trails themselves.  Working with “gateway communities” to become great trail towns is a vital process in trail development and sustainability. This presentation will detail how the Arizona Trail Association (ATA) has conducted outreach and community development within the 23 communities near the Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT).  The session will highlight the small mining town of Superior – a “model gateway community” that has embraced trail users, accommodated their needs, organized trail events, and built a 6-mile interpretive trail, directly linking the AZT to the community. A trail town model used in Pennsylvania and Maryland will be shared as well.

Speakers: Mila Besich-Lira, Owner, Miracle Executive Services; Amy Camp, Private Consultant and Regional Trails Manager, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Pittsburgh, PA; Sirena Dufault, Arizona Trail Gateway Community Liaison, Arizona Trail Association, Phoenix AZ

 

LEADING QUALITY TRAILS: BEST OF EUROPE

arrow View Introduction presentation online...

arrow View Leading Quality Trails presentation online...

arrow View Trail Evaluation presentation online...

arrow View Core Criteria presentation online...


The European Rambling Association has recently adopted a model for distinguishing amongst its tens of thousands of hiking trails in its 30 member countries by offering a transparent system to improve and promote sustainable walking tourism through a certification program. This new program is based upon the existing system used over the past ten years by the Wanderbares Deutschland, which currently certifies 85 walking routes as “Leading Trails.” This session will introduce participants to the Leading Quality Trails - Best of Europe System. Attendees will learn what criteria have been selected by the European Rambling Association as standards for a sustainable and vibrant walking tourism sector.

Speaker: Michael Haynes, Director, TransActive Solutions, Ottawa, Canada

 

 

TUESDAY, APRIL 16 

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

 

DESIGNING TRAILS THAT CONNECT CHILDREN TO SCHOOL, PARKS, AND FUN

arrow View this presentation online...

In 2010, American Trails and PlayCore formed a partnership to develop innovative ideas to encourage the use of pathways by children and families. The result was a publication, Pathways for Play, and a research project focused on the issue. The results will be reported in this session, concentrating on approaches to planning and design for urban pathways for children. Participants will be led through the design process from beginning to end. The opening phase will cover the scientific evidence related to children’s play, children and nature, and children’s mobility. Results of our original research on children’s use of pathways and greenways will be shared. Using a local example of an existing neighborhood pathway in nearby Scottsdale - connecting to an elementary school and neighborhood park - we will introduce best practice evaluation criteria. We will drive to the site, walk the pathway as a group, observe pathway use, apply the criteria and evaluate the components. We will discuss perceived success, potential additional challenges and opportunities, and ideas for infusing additional play value into the pathway to motivate more use by children and families.

Speakers: Adina Cox, Research Assistant, Natural Learning Initiative, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC; Lisa Moore, Vice President, PlayCore, Chattanooga, TN; Robin Moore, Director, Natural Learning Initiative, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

 

UTILIZING GPS AND GIS TECHNOLOGY TO DEVELOP EFFECTIVE TRAIL MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES ~ PART 1 and PART 2
-
(Part 2 in classroom on Tuesday afternoon ~ highly encouraged to attend both)   

This workshop introduces the different types of mapping techniques that can be used to record information about your trail system. We will cover the pros and cons of recreational and professional GPS hardware and discuss options for viewing and creating maps using Pathfinder Office, ArcGIS, and Google Earth. The workshop’s offsite portion will include a hands-on exercise of tracking down an “injured victim” on a trail. Participants will learn how to create data dictionaries and use various data sources to create trail maps.

Speakers: Marcie Diaz, Greenspace Planner, Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, Lawrenceville, GA; Dr. Mark Patterson, Conservation Parks Operations Coordinator, Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, Lawrenceville, GA

 

TUESDAY, APRIL 16 

Time: 1:15 – 4:15 p.m.

 

DEVELOPING THE TRAIL PLAN THAT PAY$: SOLUTIONS-BASED TRAIL ASSESSMENT AND PLANNING

A Solutions-Based Trail Assessment depends upon a detailed understanding of the art and science of developing sustainable trails, and 1) identifies core issues that need to be rectified, 2) provides a critical path for mitigating impacts, and 3) justifies the needs/outcomes for funds to realize physical, social, and managerial sustainability.
Three of the country’s leading practitioners of a solutions-based approach to trail assessment and redevelopment will provide an overview of cutting edge GIS tools, tested field assessment and public outreach procedures, and strategic plan development that has facilitated millions of dollars in real trail improvements. Example projects completed in the last five years will be outlined where these tools have been employed successfully on federal, state, and local properties with non-motorized, motorized, shared-use, and single-use trail systems.

Speakers: Woody Keen, Principal, Trail Wisdom, Cedar Mountain, NC; Scott Linnenburger, Principal, Kay-Linn Enterprises LLC, Boulder, CO; Dr. Jeremy Wimpey, Owner, Applied Trails Research LLC, State College, PA

 

TUESDAY, APRIL 16 

Time: 1:15 – 5:15 p.m.

 

DRAFT FINAL RULE – ACESSIBILITY GUIDELINES FOR TRAILS, CAMPING AND PICNIC FACILITIES, VIEWING AREAS, AND BEACH ACCESS ROUTES. WHAT WORKS, BEST PRACTICES, AND ACCESSIBLE TRAIL SURFACES

arrow View Trails Surface Research presentation online...


This session will begin with a review of the Draft Final Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas by Bill Botten, Accessibility Specialist at the Access Board. After the review and discussion of the guidelines, Janet Zeller, National Accessibility Program Manager for the U.S. Forest Service, will provide an introduction to the USFS Accessibility Guidebook on Outdoor Recreation and Trails guidelines. These guidelines are available online and are a user-friendly resource currently utilized by U.S. Forest Service employees. Janet will present on the successes and struggles of implementing the guidelines, as exhibited through U.S. Forest Service examples. The presentation will include an introduction to the user friendly resource the U.S. Forest Service uses when working with said accessibility guidelines. The session will conclude with a presentation on accessible trail surfaces and a discussion of the findings from the National Trails Surface research project by Nikki Montembeault, Accessibility Specialist with the National Center on Accessibility.

Speakers: Bill Botten, Accessibility Specialist, U.S. Access Board, Washington, D.C.; Nikki Montembeault, Accessibility Specialist, National Center on Accessibility, Bloomington, IN; Janet Zeller, National Accessibility Program Manager, U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C.

 

EQUESTRIAN TRAILS: VISIONING THE FUTURE

arrow View Introduction presentation online...

arrow View Jan Hancock's presentation online...

arrow View Arizona Trail presentation online...

arrow View Michigan Hiking and Riding Trail presentation online...

arrow Download quiz on "Understanding Horses and Mules"(MS Word)


The future of equestrian trails hangs in balance as 21st century funding for new trails, trail maintenance, and trail access is being challenged.  This educational program will address these issues head-on and provide new and encouraging perspectives on how to meet these challenges effectively.  Program will include an interactive outdoor horse and horse trailer parking and staging demonstration and a participants’ roundtable workshop to define equestrian planning and design guidelines for trails, trailheads, and campgrounds.

Speakers: Jan Hancock, Principal, Hancock Resources LLC, Phoenix, AZ; Therese Kline, PE, Chairwoman, Michigan Horse Council, Morrice, MI; Yvette Rollins, Vice Chair, Back Country Horsemen of America, Springville, IN

 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17 

Time: 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.

 

AGENCY/ORGANIZATION COLLABORATION: CREATING AN ENDURING LOVE FEST

“We love working with you guys!” This session will provide participants with all the tools and information needed to transform their agency/organization partnerships into a mutual admiration love fest with legions of happy volunteers and much improved trails. Covering everything from project identification and scope to the “nitty gritty” of safety and liability, this session will give attendees a comprehensive platform for developing and sustaining partnerships in their own communities.

Speakers: Cathy Moyer, Executive Director, Volunteers for Outdoor California, Redwood City, CA; Jim Townsend, Manager of Trails Development Programs, East Bay Regional Park District, Oakland, CA

 

For more information

 

arrow Contact for sponsorships and exhibitors for the American Trails International Trails Symposium is Candace or Melina at candace@americantrails.org or phone (530) 547-2060.

arrow View the complete schedule at a glance of all Symposium events


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