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Framework and outline for the strategic plan updated for Colorado State Trails Program.
By Stuart H.
Colorado State Parks in the process of a complete revision of the State Recreational Trails Master Plan. A major component will be creating a Geographic Information System trails data base and digitizing trail maps from a wide variety of sources. We are working with the USDA Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, local governments, and trail user groups. A key part of the project will be to develop a partnership with a university program to help with its completion by the end of 1997.
WHAT IS THE STATE TRAILS PLAN?
The State Recreational Trails Master Plan identifies existing and planned trails throughout Colorado and promotes statewide coordination on trail development and management. The purpose of the Plan is to:
The Plan is not:
Examples of how the new Plan would be used and who would use it:
TASKS FOR THE STATE TRAILS PLAN
Expand the Plan to include more backcountry trails (focus has been on urban greenways).
Expand the Plan to include motorized and shared-use recreation routes.
Gather current trails plans from local, state and federal government agencies, non-profit groups, trail user groups.
Select the most useful GIS format for the data base.
Select attributes for trails to be included in the GIS data base.
Collect existing GIS maps and data for trails.
Digitize additional trails as needed and feasible from existing maps and plans.
Produce computer-based maps for the Plan in appropriate scales.
Tie the two databases, for trail contacts and trail grants, to the Plan.
Update the Plan text on current statewide trail issues and needs.
ATTRIBUTES OR THEMES FOR THE GIS DATABASE
The following is a list of information we would like to acquire for each trail that becomes part of the Plan. Each trail (or major trail segment) will be identified in the GIS database and will include several pieces of information that can be updated in future years. These pieces of information are called attributes or themes. For instance, the data base could be sorted to find all trails that are both unpaved and allow bicycles. A map could be printed out showing just these trails.
Attributes under consideration are:
Trail name or identifier:
Other Routes Used as Trails:
Other GIS data that may be included in the plan:
PARTNERSHIP WITH SCHOOL OR INTERNS
State Parks is interested in discussing ideas for a partnership with a college or graduate level program, class, or individual. The project will provide a real-world planning experience with local, state, and federal agencies. The GIS component will require understanding project needs, adapting standard systems, importing currently-available data, and digitizing as much additional information as feasible. The project will be coordinated by knowledgeable professionals from State Parks and the Department of Natural Resources. Funding for expenses, materials, etc. will be available, and a budget for additional digitizing of maps will be developed based on the need identified during the project. State Parks currently has ArcInfo and ArcView on Windows computers and would be likely to maintain the GIS database in this format if it the most widely available to local and federal agencies. In addition State Parks may acquire a Macintosh-based GIS program for other work with the data base.
CRITERIA FOR INCLUSION
The following information is being discussed by U. S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management staff and with trail users to update criteria for adding trails to the State Recreational Trails Master Plan. These concepts are being used to identify the priorities or most important trail corridors.
Important concepts for back-country trails:
The criteria for including trails in the Plan currently are:
"A Priority I trail corridor is part of a cross-state trail corridor which: Links communities; or Connects state parks and major recreation areas; or Follows a major waterway corridor."
A Priority II trail corridor is a significant part of a regional trails system which:
"Links communities to Priority I trails; or Creates and/or enhances major regional trails; or Connects parks, lakes, and stream corridors to Priority I trails."
A Priority III trail forms part of a community trail network.
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Updated September 1, 2006
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