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National Forest report cites need for better trail maintenance

Information provided by John Mueller, President, Sutter Equipment Co.

The Angeles National Forest in southern California published a report in February, 1996, by recreation staff Cam Lockwood which looked at trail maintenance issues on 1,000 miles of heavily-used trails. One cost-effective option is increasing the use of specialized trail-building equipment. Conclusions reached in the Trails 2000 report included:

1. Public demand for trails is far outstripping the available resources to build and maintain trails of all types.

2. Managing trail programs the "old way" just isn't good enough; more efficient and better means are absolutely essential.

3. The most economical trails are multi-purpose trails.

4. The most cost effective trail width from a construction and maintenance standpoint is 3-4 feet.

5. The only chance we have to close the gap between public demand and available resources is to use mechanized means to build and maintain our trails.

Copies of the Trails 2000 report are available from Cam Lockwood, Angeles National Forest, 701 Santa Anita Ave., Arcadia CA 91006-2799; 818/574-5273. Information on the SWECO 450 Trail Dozer is available from John Mueller, Sutter Equipment Co., 80 Chamberlain Ave., Novato CA 94947; 415/898-5955.