HTA, U.S. Forest, county support Adopt-a-Trail Program
Ryan Summerlin May 1, 2014
Headwaters Trails Alliance will be “amping up” its field season work this summer, thanks to support from the Grand County Board of Commissioners.
The Trails Alliance welcomes new seasonal staff member Erica Bean, who will be managing the local Adopt-a-Trail Program in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service. Erica comes having worked for the U.S.F.S., Rocky Mountain National Park and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
“We are thrilled to have such an outstanding trail steward join our team” said HTA’s Executive Director Maura McKnight. Erica joins HTA Trail Maintenance Supervisor Jane Pfaff, who is returning for her second season this summer. The seasonal field staff positions are possible thanks to Grand County Board of Commissioners, who approved a funding request from HTA. The additional funding has aided HTA’s efforts to complete deferred maintenance on several miles of trail around the county and will allow it to assume management of the Adopt-a-Trail Program.
As the U.S. Forest Service continues to battle the aftermath of the pine beetle epidemic to ensure public safety, HTA stepped up its role to assume management of the Adopt-a-Trail Program, which utilizes volunteers in trail maintenance.
“We are looking forward to this expansion of our ongoing partnership with HTA. The Adopt-a-Trail Program is a great way to encourage active public participation on the National Forest. It fits our goal of getting people outdoors, caring for the land,” said Sulphur Ranger District’s District Ranger Craig Magwire.
Trails are an important economic driver for Grand County. The Sulphur Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service consists of 440,000 acres, containing more than 450 miles of trail. Volunteers have already adopted 154 miles of trail; HTA’s goal is to have all of the trails adopted. As it heads into a Master Trails Planning effort with the Forest Service, McKnight points out that it is extremely important for the community to show interest in caring for the trail system so that the “wish list” of new trail proposals can be implemented into the plan.
“If we can’t maintain what we have” McKnight said, “it will be really hard for us to argue that we should add more.”