Towards a Mountain Trail Sustainability Ethic ~ Part 3 of 3

The goal of a trail sustainability ethic is the protection of natural and cultural resources, inspired by federal land management agency trail management traditions, and implemented with consideration to a wilderness ethic of minimum alteration of the natural system.

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Event Details

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

10:30 AM to 12:00 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:30 AM to 01:00 AM (Mountain Time)
12:30 PM to 02:00 AM (Central Time)
01:30 PM to 03:00 AM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers

Learning Credit Cost: FREE


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Webinar Outline

Dedicated to the protection of natural and cultural resources, inspired by federal land management agency trail management traditions and implemented with consideration to a wilderness ethic of minimum alteration of natural system... please join us for the first in a series of three webinars whose purpose is to communicate successful Tools and Techniques, Examples, and Case Studies of mountain trail sustainability.

These webinars are applicable to all natural surface trail systems. Please see the following link to the presenter’s hallmark document: Guide to Sustainable Mountain Trails – Trail Assessment, Planning & Design Sketchbook, 2007 edition.

Attendees will be challenged to reflect their role as leaders in the mountain trails community and how to use Art, Science, and Inspiration to craft successful multiple use Sustainable Mountain Trail projects. The presentation is geared to the novice, intermediate, and expert trail planner and designer. While the presenter’s experience is predominantly with mountain trails, the principles presented will apply to all natural and soft surface trails.


1. Attendees will be presented an overview of the trails program at Rocky Mountain National Park, as well as current initiatives – including recovery from 500-year rainfall events, and how principles of mountain trail sustainability will focus their efforts.

2. Attendees will be presented with interdisciplinary team tools and techniques being used at Rocky that are transparent, engage the resource management staff, engage the compliance and management staffs and provide the basis for minimum impact to natural and cultural resources, and sound decision-making while helping to prioritize projects for implementation.

3. Attendees will learn Basic Design, Landscape Architectural and Project Management tools & techniques which will assist them in applying sustainability criteria and guidelines for New Trail Design & Trail Rehabilitation on the ground.

4. Attendees will be able to understand the relationship between New Trail Design methods and Guidelines for Sustainability Assessment / Planning / Design / Implementation / Ecological Restoration / Maintenance, Rehabilitation & Armor Spectrum.

5. Attendees will learn to develop recommendations for the Optimum Mountain Trail Corridor location and compare that to the Existing Mountain Trail Corridor location and to prioritize segments for Implementation.

6. "The Challenge is … to be Patient!" Attendees will learn the implications of their incremental decisions to their effect on the environment and Project Life Cycle cost and encouraged to craft strategies that reflect their Mountain Trail Sustainability Ethic.


Webinar Partners


Hugh Duffy, Landscape Architect and Project Manager, National Park Service

Mr. Duffy has been practicing landscape architecture with the National Park Service for 30 years, working on visitor centers, park roads, campgrounds, trailheads, bicycle paths, mountain trails, maintenance facilities, entrance signs, and waysides across the United States. He is the author of "Guide to Sustainable Mountain Trails – Trail Assessment, Planning & Design Sketchbook, 2007 edition” for the National Park Service.

With extensive experience as a private consultant on mountain trail planning and design, he is the author of many park-wide trail plans for Colorado State Parks. Mr. Duffy has been trained in mountain trail management by the National Park Service and in conservation non-profit volunteer management by the Appalachian Mountain Club. He volunteered extensively with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) in the late 1980s (rising through the ranks to the Board of Directors (1988 – 1990) and more recently was certified as a Master Instructor with the Colorado Outdoor Training Initiative (COTI) now referred to as the Outdoor Stewardship Initiative (OSI). He combines his unique background as a landscape architect, experience with volunteer non-profits and as a private consultant when making recommendations for Sustainable Mountain Trails. He combines sketches with graphics, photos and maps with his written work, best exemplified by the success of his Sketchbook.

Mr. Duffy has conducted two-day field trainings in the Sketchbook process for the Colorado 14ers Initiative, the U.S. Forest Service, and for Rocky Mountain National Park. He contributed to the NPS Rule allowing for bicycle use in National Parks. He is the lead author of internal NPS guidelines, including being the primary author of Sustainability of Backcountry Trails – Minimizing Resource Impacts in 2012."


John Giordanengo, Restoration Ecologist, AloTerra Restoration Services, LLC

After 17 years of experience in the field of Ecological Restoration and Natural Resources (City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, Blue Mountain Environmental Consulting), John founded AloTerra Restoration Services, LLC as a means to expand his commitment to the field of Ecological Restoration.

Having begun his restoration career as a volunteer planting shrubs and trees along the Green River in Washington State, he completed his MS degree in Restoration Ecology from Colorado State University in 2000 and has helped to plan and implement over 160 restoration-related projects ranging from riparian and wetland restoration to road closure and obliteration, post-fire restoration, and alpine restoration.

John serves on the Planning Committee for the High Altitude Revegetation Organization, the Board of the Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed, and has served on several other NR committees and boards throughout Colorado, including the Colorado Native Plant Society and others. Responding to some of Northern Colorado’s most severe natural disasters, John co-founded the High Park Restoration Coalition and the Big Thompson River Restoration Coalition.


Greg Seabloom, Trail Program Manager, City of Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks

Greg has been involved in sustainable mountain trail projects for almost 20 years. His expertise lies not only in sustainable trail design, but also in organizing projects for implementation through various methods, including Youth Corps, day-labor, and volunteers.

Greg was a contributing author to the NPS’ Guide to Sustainable Mountain Trails Sketchbook, 2007 edition, authoring the sections on Maintenance, Rehabilitation & Armor, as well as Pitfalls to Avoid and Lessons Learned, and providing photographs. Greg has conducted 2-day field-based Sketchbook-style (“Design Assistance”) training for the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative.

2012-present: Trails Supervisor, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks
2005-2012: Field Programs Manager, Colorado Fourteeners Initiative
1998-2000, 2003: Trails Supervisor, Lory State Park, Colorado
2001: Trail design with Sustainable Trails, Inc.
Other: Regional Representative, Pacific Northwest Trail Association. Crew Leader, Youth Corps of Southern Arizona.


Danny Basch, National Park Service

Danny Basch, National Park Service - Facility Manager of Operations, Rocky Mountain National Park

Danny Basch is an active trail user and enthusiastic advocate. His love for the outdoors was fostered as a youngster in what is now Cuyahoga Valley National Park and cemented when his family moved to Estes Park, Colorado, in 1983.

Since then, he has gained over 20 years of experience maintaining and managing the trails in and around Rocky Mountain National Park and currently oversees the operations branch of facility management.


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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 PDH) (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 Symposium, as well as for other 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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1,313 views • posted 01/26/2018