Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind
The Wildlife and Trail Planning Checklist is a sequence of wildlife-related questions and possible steps to consider in planning a trail.
The checklist focuses specifically on wildlife issues of trail planning and is designed to mirror comprehensive planning processes. This should make it easier to integrate the information into the ways trails are already being planned. If you are beginning to plan a trail and want to find appropriate ways of including wildlife issues, the checklist will raise important questions through each step of the planning process.
How well wildlife concerns are represented in a planning process depends on how well you understand:
Every trail project is unique and not all of the detailed steps and questions in the checklist will be relevant to each project. Therefore it is important to adapt the checklist to your own situation. For example, in an urban setting it may not be possible to identify a range of options for a trail. The only possible alignments may be along drainages or other existing corridors not attractive to most kinds of development. Similarly, many trail projects improve existing roads or trails, rather than create new alignments. Developing wide-ranging alternatives may not make sense in such cases.
Responsible equestrians should actively protect trees and other park structures when out on the trail. Equine expert Lora Goerlich gives her take on this topic.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with our partners, is charting a course for the future of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Team (PIT) was chartered to address this recommendation from Conserving the Future: Wildlife Refuges and the Next Generation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 21st century strategic vision for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Our charge was to investigate how Refuge System planning will address large-scale conservation challenges such as climate change, while maintaining the integrity of management and conservation delivery within our boundaries.