Managing High-Use Trails: Why Trail Stewards Are A Necessity In Creating Safe, Sustainable Trails

A TRAILSNext™ presentation

Learn how trail steward and trail-building programs have worked to make the public better informed and more responsible trail users while protecting the resource.

by Hank Osborn, Regional Program Manager, New York - New Jersey Trail Conference


Overuse and misuse of the most popular outdoor destinations are threatening the ecological integrity of these special places. In the greater New York metropolitan region, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference is taking a leadership role in coordinating stewardship efforts to keep up with growing threats. There is no one answer to solving this issue; it is our belief that we can create better outdoor experiences through user education, public participation, and sustainable, on-the-ground solutions.

The Trail Conference has joined with land managers and local partners to begin a multi-phased stewardship approach on the Appalachian Trail, at Breakneck Ridge, and in the Catskills. Learn how trail steward and trail-building programs have worked to make the public better informed, more responsible trails users while protecting the resource. Because when trails are used responsibly, they protect both the people who use them and the environment that surrounds them.

Learning Objectives: Participants will enjoy an increased awareness of the effectiveness of Trail Stewards to increase public safety and protect the environmental resource through on-the-ground education of outdoor ethics, and how this program complements efforts to build and maintain sustainable trails.

 

About the Author

Hank Osborn has a long history and deep passion for the outdoors. He began maintaining trails as a young teen in Garrison, NY. He later chaired the Garrison School Forest Committee; became a board member of the Phillipstown Greenway Committee; and led hikes for the Hudson Highlands Land Trust. Hank has taught geology, environmental science, and ecology. Hank is currently the Regional Programs Manager for the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference where he has managed the Trail Steward Program for the past six seasons.

More Articles by this Author

More Articles in this Category