The Primer provides discussion of broad wildlife topics, plus key concepts and rules of thumb to help with trail planning and management.
This section of the handbook gives an overview of the major wildlife issues relevant to trail planners and provides examples and references for more in-depth study. If you have general questions about the interactions of wildlife and trails, the primer— which is organized around broad wildlife topics— is a good place to start.
Key concepts are presented as an introduction to each Primer topic. To make the concepts practical, Rules of Thumb are also given with each topic. The rules of thumb are intended as helpful advice for wildlife situations that are generally too complex for ironclad, universal principles.
A RULE OF THUMB IS:
1 : a method of procedure based on experience and common sense.
2 : a general principle regarded as roughly correct but not intended to be scientifically exact.
What opportunities or constraints are there for both trails and wildlife in the broader landscape?
Understanding the varieties of species and the habitats they need is essential to planning appropriate trails.
Trails affect wildlife in a range of ways. Evaluate the tradeoffs between wildlife and trails by understanding impacts as well as benefits.
Trails can be effective ways to manage visitors. An understanding of how a trail will be managed must be part of the planning process.
The Trail Challenge is a “call to action” for all of us to work together to achieve a sustainable trail system by increasing our collective capacity to care for trails and by increasing on-the-ground results through shared stewardship of trails.
On behalf of the thousands of diverse trail users our collective organizations represent, we urge appropriators to adequately invest in our nation’s trails.
The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) calls on all trail organizations and trail enthusiasts to take action immediately to continue and to expand the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), the national trails assistance program that aids all trail activities nationwide through use of federal non-highway recreational fuel taxes.
Statewide organizations are well positioned to improve state-level policies that impact funding processes and to share best practices with regions.