Wilderness Trails: Special Places, Special Considerations.

American Trails

Wilderness Trails: Special Places, Special Considerations.

Recorded Training

Webinar Trail Construction Trail Maintenance Project Preparation Project Planning and Design Program Administration and Leadership Agency Specific Specialty Skills

This webinar will provide some basic information on trails in federally-designated Wilderness, examples of practical experiences, and resources to learn more.
Presented by:

Pete Irvine, retired, USDA Forest Service
Dan Abbe, Wilderness Specialist, Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center
Ian Nelson, Regional Representative, Pacific Crest Trail Association

Webinar Outline
In total, approximately 18% of federal land administered by the four major federal land management agencies, and nearly 5% of all land in the United States, has been designated as wilderness. Trails are a primary way that visitors enjoy and experience these special places— where humans are visitors who do not remain. While the word “wilderness” may have very different meanings to each of us, federally-designated “Wilderness” has an official definition and the agencies have legal stewardship responsibilities which impact how trails are planned, constructed, managed, maintained, and used in these areas. Three presenters will provide some basic information on Wilderness, trails in Wilderness, examples of practical experiences, and resources to learn more.

Learning Objectives:
Provide basic Wilderness information including the Wilderness Act, the designation process, the amount-extent-variety of Wilderness, and the priorities for Wilderness stewards (agencies, partners, and volunteers).
Provide basic information and considerations for trails and trail use in Wilderness.
Provide some recent, real-life examples of Wilderness trail maintenance, management, construction, and administration situations in Wilderness.
Provide information on available resources for information about Wilderness and Wilderness trails.
Webinar Resources
Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center

Home Page
Staff Listing (2022) (pdf)
Brief (October 2022) (pdf)
Wilderness Connect

Home page
Trail Condition Monitoring Toolbox
Visitor Use Management Toolbox
Interagency Visitor Use Management Council
Signs and Posters Toolbox
Traditional Tools & Skills Toolbox
Traditional Tools; Crosscut Sawyer Online Course
National Wilderness Skills Institute Recordings

2021 & 2022

National Trails System Act
Presenter PowerPoint Presentation

Wilderness Trails: Special Places, Special Considerations-20221201-PeteSlides-Final.pdf (pdf)
Wilderness Trails: Special Places, Special Considerations-20221201-DanSlides-Final.pdf (pdf)
Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) Resources

PCTA Homepage
PCTA Interactive Map
Native Lands Digital
Partnership for National Trails System (PNTS)
PNTS Indigenous Mapping
Interagency Visitor Use Mgt Council
National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance
Society for Wilderness Stewardship

Trail Core Competencies

  • • Construction Specifications
  • • Hand-Built Trail Construction
  • • Water Management/Drainage Features
  • • Maintenance Specifications
  • • Inventory & Assessment
  • • Corridor clearing: Hand Tools
  • • Tread Maintenance - Hand tools
  • • Drainage Features/Water Management
  • • Land Use Plan Alignment
  • • Define Purpose and Need of Project
  • • Corridor Planning
  • • Stakeholder Engagement
  • • Implementation Plan
  • • Trail Specifications
  • • Design
  • • Trail Plans
  • • Interpretation
  • • Permitting
  • • Education and Public Outreach
  • • Inspections/Monitoring
  • • Partnership and Collaboration
  • • Policy/Directives/Law
  • • Visitor Use Management and Monitoring
  • • Agreement Development

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