Getting Real with Preservative-Treated Wood for Trail Structures

A TRAILSNext™ presentation

Wood is sustainable and renewable. We can extend the life of wood far beyond the time it takes to grow a new tree.

by Butch Bernhardt, Senior Program Manager, Western Wood Preservers Institute

Wood has a natural warmth that we as humans connect with. Treating it to last doesn’t change that connection. Wood is strong and resilient, yet light, making it easy to carry to places where it will be used. It’s very workable with basic tools. Yes, some maintenance may be needed for wood. But the small amount of time and work needed to do that pays off in protecting its longevity. Every material will require maintenance at some point. Wood embodies the spirit of our trails and environment more than any other material. Not only do we have a proven record of safe, long-lasting use, there’s just something about wood that we connect with as humans. With treating, we add to that sustainability by making wood last for decades, reducing the amount we need to harvest. We can extend the life of wood far beyond the time it takes to grow a new tree. This is the essence of sustainability and no other material offers this benefit.

About the Author

Not available.

More Articles in this Category

Texas Recently Got Their First National Water Trail

The newly designated Trinity River Paddling Trail is the first National Water Trail in Texas!

FAQ: What is the definition of a trail?

Defining a trail corridor in law, policy, and planning.

Design for Understanding: Protecting Trail Users in the Time of Covid-19

Don Meeker, president of Terrabilt, reflects on trails as a critical sanctuary during COVID-19, and provides guidance on signage to keep everyone on trails safe. Terrabilt will also provide the production artwork for their COVID-19 trail sign for free.

The Economic Benefits of Mountain Biking at One of Its Meccas: An Application of the Travel Cost Method to Mountain Biking in Moab, Utah

This 1997 paper estimates the value of a relatively new form of recreation: mountain biking. Its popularity has resulted in many documented conflicts, and its value must be estimated so an informed decision regarding trail allocation can be made. A travel cost model (TCM) is used to estimate the economic benefits, measured by consumer surplus, to the users of mountain bike trails near Moab, Utah.