USDA Forest Service

Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment


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Strategic Planning
and Resource Assessment

RP-E Rm 602
P.O. Box 96090    
Washington, D.C. 20090-6090



United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

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Forest Service 2003 Success Stories

Success Stories: Have Trails, will Travel

Trails Unlimited began as an Enterprise Unit's dream to pass on the “tools of the trade” to the next generation of trail builders. Hands-on field experience and apprenticeship always worked best when learning trail building and maintenance, but federal agencies had no way of passing this information along except through articles, publications, or videos. So, three old-timers decided to try something new and Trails Unlimited got off the ground.

The Forest Service and other federal agencies have been losing experienced trail managers at a staggering rate with no one in place to fill the gap. The experienced hands behind Trails Unlimited assembled the available, or explicit, information and combined it with old-timer know-how, or tacit information, to create a knowledge base and nine training modules for the Forest Service. With a little time investment on the part of the novice, Trails Unlimited can now turn an inexperienced trail person into an expert, and eventually a Master Trail Builder.

Trails Unlimited makes training an integral part of the field experience, as it strengthens a person's commitment to Caring for the Land and Serving the People . Over one hundred individuals from the Forest Service, USDI's BLM and National Park Service, and six state park agencies have been trained in trail building, while countless volunteers have received the training for free.

Trails Unlimited tells us that the experience they pass on is dedicated to the future of trails on all public lands.


[Photo]: Photo showing work crew working on installing trail.

[Photo]: Photo showing trail work crew posing with their tools.

USDA Forest Service - Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:19:04 CST

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