Approvals, Permits, and Compliance

Navigating the Regulatory Waters from Trail Plan Through Construction

This webinar will walk through the typical processes, jurisdictions, timelines, and documentation needed to get a conceptual trail project through approval and implementation.

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Event Details

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November 02, 2023

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Mountain Time)
12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (Central Time)
01:00 PM to 02:00 PM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers

Learning Credit Cost: FREE


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Webinar Outline

Navigating the regulatory waters from trail plan through construction can be a daunting process. There are the questions of: “who approves what?”, “do we need a permit?”, “how do you get a permit, who is the applicant, and how long will it take? ”, “what are limits during construction?”, and “what documentation is required before, during, and after construction?” Unfortunately, the answers to these questions vary from place to place and even between jurisdictions in the same place. This webinar will not answer every question for every situation, but will walk through the typical processes, jurisdictions, timelines, and documentation needed to get a conceptual trail project through approval and implementation. From local ordinances, to state level land disturbance, and federal Corps of Engineers and NEPA, participants will be primed to ask the right questions, find the assistance they need, and get a project through the various regulatory spaces required to complete a trail project.

Presenters Phil Penny and Scott Linnenburger both had considerable professional experience in the environmental permitting and restoration sectors prior to running their own trail companies. They will share lessons learned the “long” way, how to frame trail projects to regulatory agencies that may not fully understand trails, and the realities that trails are land development projects which need to go through a set of permitting processes.

This webinar is part of a four-part webinar series hosted by the Professional TrailBuilders Association. Join us for all four webinars (or view the recordings):

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the typical regulatory processes for trail projects
  • Identify the typical jurisdictions that regulate trail projects
  • Understand the typical types of permits and documentation required
  • Understand that the necessary permitting and documentation varies by geography and situation


This webinar qualifies as a Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) course (via LA CES).

More PTBA Webinars in American Trails Advancing Trails Webinars Series

Webinar Resources

  • PTBA Webinars in American Trails Advancing Trails Webinars Series

    Webinar Partners


    Phil Penny, Owner, Rogue Trails
    Rogers, Arkansas

    At 10 years old, I walked down a trail with my mom, and it changed the way I felt and saw the world around me. Soon after I found cycling and was able to keep that sense of breaking free and exploration as I moved along the curvature of the land. Trails have invited me into landscapes and taken me to places that had seemed impenetrable without the gentle guide of the path before me. Though not always easy to navigate, they always rewarded me.

    My deep love of the natural world and desire to understand the forces shaping and acting upon it combined with my passion for mountain biking and exploration, lead me down the path to begin my own trail building company, Rogue Trails, in 2016. I would say there were many paths that I followed that have helped me arrive here; I enjoyed mountain bike racing for 14 years; served as President of the Ozark Off-Road Cyclists for 8 years helping it to expand from a social club to a respected 501c3 that gave voice to the cycling community; my initial career as an environmental scientist/engineer gave me insight into regulations and working with many different land managers, stake holders, and governmental entities; and now the spearhead of a team of passionate, sustainable trail builders carving our own paths.

    Trail building has been and continues to be a driving force in my life. I work vigorously to bring sustainable and memorable trails into communities around the region to encourage others to have that awakening I found on a trail. I have been fortunate to join the Professional Trail Builders Association and serve on the board as well as now find myself leading the next generation of trail builders and stewards as I start a turn as a professor. I am humbled to be a part of this impressive community of trail builders and part of something so much greater than my own journey.


    Scott Linnenburger, Principal, Kay-Linn Enterprises
    Boulder, Colorado

    Scott Linnenburger has more than 15 years of experience in recreation/trail development, conservation planning, and environmental restoration projects. His successful management of more than 175 projects in the federal, state, local, and private sectors demonstrates a keen ability to assist clients in developing projects that fulfill their mission, protect natural resources, and enhance community sustainability. Scott has served on the Board of American Trails and the Professional Trailbuilders Association. Scott has a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University’s Nicholas School, with a focus on wetland/stream ecology, restoration, and habitat planning.


    Aaryn Kay, Executive Director, Professional TrailBuilders Association
    Boulder, Colorado

    Aaryn has been working with PTBA since 2017 and has been working in the trail industry since 2002. During that time, Aaryn has worked with more than one hundred non-profits in almost every U.S. state and Canadian province with specialities in development, communications, strategy, and assessment. In 2009, she co-founded Kay-Linn Enterprises to provide a trail development and non-profit management services to communities. Prior to Kay-Linn, Aaryn coordinated trailbuilding and advocacy events, co-taught 150 weekend long trailbuilding seminars for volunteers and land managers in 32 states, instructed a graduate-level environmental education course at Duke University, and directed Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment’s Community Outreach. Aaryn has a Masters in Environmental Management and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Duke University.


    Closed Captioning

    We are offering closed captioning for our webinars, thanks to a partnership with VZP Digital. If you are in need of this service, please email us prior to the webinar. An unedited transcript will be sent to all attendees following the webinar.

    Learning Credits and CEUs

    American Trails is proud to be a certified provider of the following learning credits and continuing education opportunities:

    • American Institute of Certified Planners Continuing Maintenance (AICP CM)
    • Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) (most HSW approved)
    • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) CEU equivalency petition
    • CEU/PDH equivalency petition for other accepting organizations

    Learning credits are free for attendees for American Trails webinars and the International Trails Summit, as well as for other trail and outdoor recreation-related conferences, webinars, and workshops we offer credits for. Learn more here.



    While we may individually agree (or disagree) in whole or in part with any or all of the participants, the views expressed in these webinars are not necessarily representative of the views of American Trails as an organization or its board and staff. Unless specific situations are noted by presenters, nothing in American Trails webinars should be considered to be interpreted as a standard.

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    5,818 views • posted 08/28/2023