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Skills and Knowledge Needed
From the Needs Assessment Survey conducted for the National Trails Training Partnership by the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) National Training Center, January 2000.
Responses to question "What other skills and knowledge do you need to do your job?" Each response was summarized and then sorted in alphabetically order by first word:
1. Access to trails and roadways as protected by Revised Statute 2477. Work with local management to keep trails open for all to use. We do not need more wilderness areas. Only hikers can use wilderness areas.
2. Balancing between natural resources and a variety of recreational users, both consumptive and non- consumptive.
3. BIA does not have a trails program, anything we do is at the request of tribes. Some tribes have recreational trails and training, etc. would be very advantageous for them.
4. Carpentry, Leave No Trace skills, Level 2 law enforcement.
5. Carrying capacity model for historic trails that travel through varying landscapes and are in varying physical conditions.
6. Computer graphics & map making.
7. Computer skills, GPS skills.
8. Conflict management.
9. Conflict management, specialized structures (rockwork, bridges), legislation
10. Consensus building, advocacy strategies.
11. Coordinate between local, state and federal trail manangers and planners on trail planning, design and maintenance issues.
12. Data concerning on-going research, trail design data, and trail networking availability between groups and agencies, and availability of volunteer or other trail construction groups.
13. Design and construction refresher. What is being done on a national scale with trail design and maintenance. "Tips and tricks" to the design construction and long term maintenance.
14. Design standard manual that give trails specifications for all types of users, including radius/width, grade, clearing limits, signing and trainhead design for specific user types.
15. Design standards that promote sustainability.
16. Design, layout, retaining walls, wall construction, water control measures, climbing turns, hardening surface structures, reading the land, knowing your intended user.
17. Develop a training program for staff to train and interact successfully with volunteers.
18. Dry stone masonry, Site rehabilitation & native plant revegetation, rigging & high-line operations, specialty tool fabrication, Erosion assessment & control, Use of draft stock, Complex logistics planning & management, Apprenticeship program management, Job estimating, Trails program management as watershed management, Stone drilling & quarrying, Blasting prescription & operations, Log construction techniques,
19. Enforcement of registration fees; adherance to trail laws.
20. Explosives, innovation in unique mixed terrain. Computer design programs
21. Forecasting projects. How to get the rec planner concept over to the civil engineer and visa versa (ie, I want a curvilinear design and the CE wants a rectilinear design). Getting users to cooperate toward common goals. Trails for Managers (so management will buy into this workload item)
22. Funding and volunteers.
23. Grant writing, partnerships, community involvement, heavy equipment operations, "high standard" trail construction specs, urban interface trails network.
25. Grants - Large federal grant; Money.
26. Internet access to information/trainning.
27. Interpretive planning and implementation.
28. Keep the bureaucracy from making it too hard to use "public" lands.
29. Locate new trails - how to.
30. Locating a trail.
31. Management: how to convince management that it's important
32. Management: how to influence upper management and field offices to understand the importance of issues with which I am involved.
33. Managing amount and type of use through information dissemination i.e., Internet, brochures etc
34. Meaningful Measures: see a real need to have training in doing condition surveys and a standardized survey form for all agencies. I also see a need to develop standardized trail standards. MM uses trail classes which is different from the levels in the past. We need to be consistent in identifying our standards, levels, maintenance cycles etc. Also a need to training in what makes a good system and evaluating existing systems and developing a trails plan which would focus on what trails we would build and what trails we should get rid of.
35. Negotiating land acquisition such as easements, gifts, deeds, etc.
36. NEPA and 106 documentation. Use of explosives. Log work, basic bridge construction, use of winches etc.
37. Off pavement driving.
38. OHV trails preservation plan.
39. Opposing users to sit down and resolve issues, getting professionals to look past there personal opinions and make decisions based on science.
40. Partnerships with the Pueblos and tribes and the state of New Mexico government.
41. Public relations/good communications skills. Graphic Art and design for brochures.
42. Regional goals, planning, etc.
43. Sample data base for maintenance tracking. sample data base for trail facilities. best if we could down load examples and then modify as needed. basics of using laser levels, GPS.
44. Sign plan for the trail - how to do. Signing to standards should be a training class on how to design the signs, determine the proper messages, colors, etc.
45. Signing: show the differences in different agencies sign manuals and possibly develop a comprehensive sign manuel for all agencies. Develop and provide a grade dip design that works (current FS design is inadequate). The FSH 2309.18 trail design guide for ATV's is inadequate/tread width is inappropriate for what users expect(too wide). Trail crews/managers need better training for constructing grade dips/log-rock-rubber waterbars. Need better education for forest sign managers to develop complete trail sign plans. The problem lies with those forest and regional "experts" that seem to know less than the field trail specialists.
47. Transportation funding and working with transportation agencies.
48. User based information determining trail type and degrees of difficulty. Ability to build trails that user will continue to use over and over.
49. User desired experience is. Involvement of the user is vital.
50. Users' experience and getting them involved.
51. Using visitor information to form volunteer groups where they currently don't exsist or are to few and unorgainized to be effective. Users have the most to gain but are under utilized.
52. Variety of tools and methods for accomplishing trail work. If I do not understand what can or cannot be accomplished using, for example, blasting methods, I can't employ a full range of options to solve a given trail related problem. Methods of pinning barriers, guide structures, or support structures. Understanding appropriate materials and level of development consistent with the ROS and Forest Plan DFC. Understanding the role of non-human critters in trail development and especially in use patterns and rehabilitation of "abandoned" tread. Understanding of trail development history. Psychology of users. Politics of trails. Understanding of the "real" environmental effects of trails in the environment.
53. Visitor environmental education, negotiation/collaboration skills for bringing together multiple, conflicting user groups. Brochure development, recruiting & working with volunteers.
54. Volunteer groups - work with and supervise.
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This material is based upon work supported by the Federal Highway Administration under Cooperative Agreement DTFH61-06-H-00023. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Federal Highway Administration.
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Updated April 30, 2014