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American Trails is proud to present "Sustainable Mountain Trails: Trail Project Cycle Innovations & Experiences" as a part of the American Trails "Advancing Trails Webinar Series"


arrow A recording of this webinar is available for purchase. Original webinar took place December 16, 2014.

arrow Also see QUESTIONS and ANSWERS from a previous webinar on Trail Sustainability




"Towards a Mountain Trail Sustainability Ethic ~ Part 3 of 3"

Photo of hiker on hillside trail


American Trails presented this Webinar December 16, 2014. It is the third of a series of three on Sustainable Mountain Trails. These webinars are applicable to all natural surface trail systems. Led by Hugh Duffy, National Park Service. Also presenting are John Giordanengo, Greg Seabloom, Danny Basch, and Ian Brighton.

Read more and learn about the presenters...


PURCHASE archived webinar: Purchase this recorded webinar in the American Trails Online Store. Payments accepted are credit cards (Visa and MasterCard), checks, and purchase orders. If paying via purchase order, please select check as your payment method in the online store and in the notes section write in your purchase order number.


WEBINAR PRICES: American Trails Members only pay $35 and Nonmembers pay $55. These prices are the same for our future webinars as well as our past webinars in which you can access recordings to. To receive the member discount, be sure and select “YES” for this question and the $20 will automatically be deducted from your total. If you are a new or renewing member, you can add a membership to your order at the same time. View our membership levels and benefits.

The Transportation Division of the National Park Service's Denver Service Center will offer tuition to NPS employees who take American Trails Webinars on a first-come / first-served basis. After identifying your project or program need and after obtaining supervisory approval, please contact Hugh Duffy (, 303-969-2452).


Webinar Sponsor

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National Park Service:

Denver Service Center, Transportation Division

Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program




Honorary Supporter







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The goal of a trail sustainability ethic is protection of natural and cultural resources, inspired by federal land management agency trail management traditions, and implemented with consideration to a wilderness ethic of minimum alteration of natural system.

Please see the following link to the presenter’s hallmark document: Guide to Sustainable Mountain Trails – Trail Assessment, Planning & Design Sketchbook, 2007 edition.

Attendees will be challenged to reflect their role as leaders in the mountain trails community and how to use Art, Science, and Inspiration to craft successful multiple use Sustainable Mountain Trail projects. The presentation is geared to the novice, intermediate, and expert trail planner and designer. While the presenter’s experience is predominantly with mountain trails, the principles presented will apply to all natural and soft surface trails.



1. Students will learn the importance of understanding the Trail Project Cycle, based upon federal land management agency guidelines and professional association ethics, while giving full consideration to all cogs of the cycle including Lessons Learned & Pitfalls to Avoid.

2. Students will learn about the role of Ecological Restoration in sustainable mountain trail projects, including who to consult and when, successful tools and techniques, establishing goals, processes, implementation actions sequences, as well as overviews of several Ecological Restoration Case Studies.

3. Students will learn the benefits of implementing trails which adhere to Mountain Trail Sustainability guidelines from Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, comparing them to legacy trails.

4. Students will learn the Sustainable Mountain Trails field-based (real project) Sketchbook / Workbook Training process, including identification of a curriculum, different methods of teaching, requirements for students to make a presentation at the conclusion of the training, and how this might benefit their trail program.

5. “What Role Will You Play?” Students will be challenged to consider the need for their hard work, as well as continued education / enhanced training / New Partnerships, and New Tools & Techniques to enhance the Sustainable Mountain Trails community.


Presenters for the Webinar:

Hugh Duffy, PLA, ASLA, LEED® GA, PMP, Landscape Architect and Project Manager, National Park Service, Denver Service Center, CO -   - Website:


photo of man with snowy tree

Hugh Duffy

Mr. Duffy has been practicing landscape architecture with the National Park Service for 30 years, working on visitor centers, park roads, campgrounds, trailheads, bicycle paths, mountain trails, maintenance facilities, entrance signs, and waysides across the United States. He is the primary author of Guide to Sustainable Mountain Trails – Trail Assessment, Planning & Design Sketchbook, 2007 edition for the National Park Service.

With extensive experience as a private consultant on mountain trail planning and design, he is the author of many park-wide trail plans for Colorado State Parks. Mr. Duffy has been trained in mountain trail management by the National Park Service and in conservation non-profit volunteer management by the Appalachian Mountain Club. He volunteered extensively with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado in the late 1980s (rising through the ranks to the Board of Directors (1988-90) and more recently was certified as a Master Instructor with the Colorado Outdoor Training Initiative now referred to as the Outdoor Stewardship Initiative. He combines his unique background as a landscape architect, experience with volunteer non-profits and as a private consultant when making recommendations for Sustainable Mountain Trails. He combines sketches with graphics, photos and maps with his written work, best exemplified by the success of his Sketchbook.

Mr. Duffy created and has conducted two-day field-based trainings in the Sketchbook process for the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, the U.S. Forest Service, and for Rocky Mountain National Park. He contributed to the NPS Rule allowing for bicycle use in National Parks. He is the lead author of internal NPS guidelines, including being the primary author of Sustainability of Backcountry Trails – Minimizing Resource Impacts in 2012.

Hugh was a presenter of the American Trails’ "Foundations of Mountain Trail Sustainability Webinar" in June 2014, and was a co-presenter of the American Trails’ Fundamentals of "Mountain Trail Sustainability Webinar" in August 2014. Hugh is also a Master Instructor with the Outdoor Stewardship Institute.


photo of man on a trail

John Giordanengo


John Giordanengo, Restoration Ecologist, AloTerra Restoration Services, LLC

After 17 years of experience in the field of Ecological Restoration and Natural Resources (City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, Blue Mountain Environmental Consulting), John founded AloTerra Restoration Services, LLC as a means to expand his commitment to the field of Ecological Restoration.

Having begun his restoration career as a volunteer planting shrubs and trees along the Green River in Washington State, he completed his MS degree in Restoration Ecology from Colorado State University in 2000 and has helped to plan and implement over 160 restoration-related projects ranging from riparian and wetland restoration to road closure and obliteration, post-fire restoration, and alpine restoration.

John serves on the Planning Committee for the High Altitude Revegetation Organization, the Board of the Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed, and has served on several other NR committees and boards throughout Colorado, including the Colorado Native Plant Society and others. Responding to some of Northern Colorado’s most severe natural disasters, John co-founded the High Park Restoration Coalition and the Big Thompson River Restoration Coalition.



photo of man on a trail

Greg Seabloom



Greg Seabloom, Trail Program Manager, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, Boulder, CO

Greg has been involved in sustainable mountain trail projects for almost 20 years. His expertise lies not only in sustainable trail design, but also in organizing projects for implementation through various methods, including Youth Corps, day-labor, and volunteers.

Greg was a contributing author to the NPS’ Guide to Sustainable Mountain Trails Sketchbook, 2007 edition, authoring the sections on Maintenance, Rehabilitation & Armor, as well as Pitfalls to Avoid and Lessons Learned, and providing photographs. Greg has conducted 2-day field-based Sketchbook-style (“Design Assistance”) training for the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative.

2012-present:  Trails Supervisor, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks
2005-2012:  Field Programs Manager, Colorado Fourteeners Initiative
1998-2000, 2003:  Trails Supervisor, Lory State Park, Colorado
2001:  Trail design with Sustainable Trails, Inc.
Other:  Regional Representative, Pacific Northwest Trail Association.  Crew Leader, Youth Corps of Southern Arizona.


photo of man on a trail

Danny Basch


Danny Basch, National Park Service - Facility Manager of Operations, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Danny Basch is an active trail user and enthusiastic advocate.  His love for the outdoors was fostered as a youngster in what is now Cuyahoga Valley National Park and cemented when his family moved to Estes Park, Colorado, in 1983.

Since then, he has gained over 20 years of experience maintaining and managing the trails in and around Rocky Mountain National Park and currently oversees the operations branch of facility management. 

Danny was a contributing author to the NPS’ Guide to Sustainable Mountain Trails Sketchbook, 2007 edition, authoring the Bridges and Case Studies sections, creator of the Trail Project Cycle Tool, and providing photographs. Danny has conducted multiple 2-day field-based Sketchbook-style training for Rocky Mountain National Park. And Danny was a co-presenter of the American Trails’ Fundamentals of Mountain Trail Sustainability Webinar in August 2014.

Danny is a Master Instructor with the Outdoor Stewardship Institute.


photo of man on horse

Ian Brighton


Ian Brighton, Facilities Management Systems Specialist, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Ian Brighton has worked on trails for over 20 years. He works at Rocky Mountain National Park as a Facilities Management Systems Specialist where he helps manage and inventory the Park’s extensive trail system.

Currently he has been leading the effort to reroute trails heavily impacted by the historic flood of 2013.
He began his career with the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks and helped maintain 144 miles of recreational trails and designed over 10 miles of the Doudry Draw/Marshall Mesa multi-use trail system. He has extensive experience with all phases of trail design from conception to implementation.

In addition to field experience, Mr. Brighton has an M.A. in Landscape Architecture and has also been certified as a Master Instructor with the Outdoor Stewardship Institute. He has completed the 2-day field-based Sketchbook style training at Rocky Mountain NP, and has volunteered extensively with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado.

Ian was a co-presenter of the American Trails’ Fundamentals of Mountain Trail Sustainability Webinar in August 2014.


See Hugh Duffy's publications:

Photo of dirt trail on hillside

Each webinar in this series is independent of each other and can be attended individually:



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