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Public Help Sought On Forest Backlog Of Trail Work

Trail Crew

Those headed out for biking, hiking, horseback riding or motorized recreation in national forests of Wyoming may notice some repair work that needs to be done. In fact, the cost to get trails across the country up to basic standards is more than 500-million dollars – according to a new G-A-O report. Paul Spitler with The Wilderness Society says it may be difficult in these budget times to seek more funding, so creative solutions are needed to maintain public access.  Says Spitler: “We know that use is increasing on our trails. This is really something that touchesAmericans of all stripes. Virtually everyone loves the great outdoors and trails are the conduit to the great outdoors.” Spitler says volunteers in Wyoming and across the country already help keep trails usable, and he thinks more people would help if projects were coordinated.  Spitler says the government needs to do a better job encouraging and recruiting and supporting the volunteers who are dedicating their free time to maintain our trail system.  Spitler says collaborations and volunteer programs can help leverage repair funding. Trail maintenance projects include clearing trees and brush, improving stream crossings, and preventing erosion. He adds that about 80-million dollars is dedicated to trail maintenance each year, and it’s estimated that that those trails contribute more than 80-billion dollars a year to the recreation industry.

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