The newsletter of AMERICAN TRAILS -- SPRING 1999

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News from America's Trails...

Alaska

Alaska proposes intercontinental trail

Alaskans want an international trail from Barrow to Buenos Aires. Alaska Governor Tony Knowles' Trails and Recreational Access for Alaska Citizens Advisory Board has established a task force to begin working on a plan for a long distance trail to connect Alaska with the lower 48 and beyond.

Inspired by the American Discovery Trail, Trans Canada Trail, Great Western Trail, and other long distance trails, the task force will consider a multimodal, year-round trail that will build on existing trails to connect Alaska, Canada, the lower 48 states, and Central and South America. Modes of travel will include trails over land, water, and snow.

The Alaska task force seeks involvement of other groups or individuals interested in this effort. Contact Ron Crenshaw, Alaska Trails Administrator, Alaska State Parks, 3601 C St., Suite 1200, Anchorage AK 99503; E-mail: ronc@dnr.state.ak.us

California

1999 California Trails Conference April 16-18

California State Parks is sponsoring the 1999 California Trails Conference to be held at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, April 16-18, 1999. The theme for this year's Conference is "Trails and Greenways for Life." The theme emphasizes the importance of trails to all facets of life: health, recreation, nature, community, transportation, and spiritual well being. Topics include wildlife and trail issues, updates on accessibility, new trail websites, landowner issues, railbanking, youth corps, funding, trail planning and construction, and health and wellness.

For more information: (415) 397-2220 Ext. 4

Delaware

Statewide trail inventory uses GPS

Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation has recently completed a statewide trail inventory project. With a combination of volunteer and staff efforts, data have been collected for trails on state parks and wildlife areas and many county parks, using a global positioning system (GPS). The GPS unit uses a satellite signal to indicate the exact location of the trails, trail heads, and other features. Other data such as permitted uses and trail conditions, were collected with the unit as well. The GPS data will be integrated with the Division's geographic information system (GIS) and used for trail mapping, trail management, and the Greenways and Trails Atlas.

For more information: (302) 739-5285.

Florida

Implementation Plan for greenways approved

The Florida Greenways Coordinating Council has adopted a Five-Year Implementation Plan for a statewide system of greenways and trails. The plan includes:

-- A process to designate lands and waterways in the system.

-- Recommendations for acquiring and managing components.

-- Involving public and private partners.

-- Educating residents and visitors about Florida's natural systems and recreation opportunities.

For more information: Office of Greenways and Trails, (850) 488-3701.

Illinois

Tunnel Hill Trail gains Governor's support

The first completed section of the new Tunnel Hill State Trail was officially opened by Governor Jim Edgar. This first section, from Vienna to Tunnel Hill, is part of a 42-mile trail projected rail trail. Abandoned in 1990, the corridor was acquired by Illinois DNR. It goes through eight southern Illinois communities and contains outstanding natural features.

For more information: Site Superintendent Mollie Oliver, P O Box 671, Vienna IL 69295; (618) 658-2168.

Indiana

Cyclists and equestrians are paying for trail access

The Hoosier National Forest in southern Indiana began a fee program last year for access to the forest's 220 miles of trails. Cyclists and equestrians must purchase a daily permit for $3 or an annual $25 permit. Hikers are excluded because, according to recreation program manager Les Wadzinski, "hiking has less impact on the trails than bicycling or horseback riding." The trail permit fees are intended to finance improvements to the trail system.

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