filed under: wildlife and environment


Wildlife and Trails Checklist — Step C: Building & Managing the trail

Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind

The checklist focuses specifically on wildlife issues of trail planning and is designed to mirror comprehensive planning processes.

by American Trails Staff

photo credit: Jack Seeds, Unsplash

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.

Step C. Building & Managing the Trail

1. Acquiring and constructing the trail

Look for opportunities for complementary conservation.

  • In acquiring the land needed for the trail, look for additional areas that can be set aside for wildlife conservation at the same time.
  • Seek interested partners to implement conservation efforts.

Implement the plan.

  • Be careful to impact wildlife as little as possible during construction.

Communicate to all interested parties.

  • Share the progress about the trail and what is being learned about co-existing with wildlife.


2. Monitoring and managing the trail

Manage the trail.

  • Implement the plan to manage the trail corridor and activities within it.

Monitor resources and visitation.

  • Using staff or volunteers, monitor the important plants and wildlife of the alignment, looking for impacts.
  • Adjust management plans as appropriate.

Communicate to all interested parties.

  • Share the progress about the trail and what is being learned about co-existing with wildlife.

Published September 2018

More Articles in this Category

Designing Sustainable Off-Highway Vehicle Trails

Proper management of off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails is one of the most important tasks for trail managers today.

Hiking, mountain biking and equestrian use in natural areas

A recreation ecology literature review

Sustaining Wildlife With Recreation on Public Lands

A Synthesis of Research Findings, Management Practices, and Research Needs

Are horses responsible for introducing non-native plants along forest trails in the eastern United States?

Horses have been suggested to be an important source for the introduction of non-native plant species along trails, but the conclusions were based on anecdotal evidence.