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FS Accessibility Guidelines in the Federal Register for 60 day for comments

Read more on the proposed Forest Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines
See comparison of the proposed trail guidelines (FSTAG) with draft ADA guidelines (RegNeg)
Also see Comments on proposed USFS Trail Accessibility Guidelines by American Hiking Society

By Janet A. Zeller
National Accessibility Program Manager, USDA Forest Service

On February 17, 2005, two Forest Service (FS) proposed interim directives (IDs) were published in the Federal Register inviting public comments for the next 60 days, until April 18, 2005.

The purpose of these proposed IDs is to ensure that new or reconstructed developed outdoor recreation areas on National Forest System lands are developed to maximize accessibility, while recognizing and protecting the unique characteristics of the natural setting

These interim directives address required accessibility of outdoor recreation facilities and hiking trails not addressed by existing accessibility standards. The Forest Service Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Guidelines (FSORAG) would apply to new or altered constructed features including many of those located at campsites, picnic areas, overlooks, the routes connecting those facilities, and beach access routes.

The Forest Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines (FSTAG) would ability only to trails that meet all of the following criteria: the trail is new or altered; and it is managed for hiker/pedestrian use; and it connects either directly to a trailhead or to a currently accessible trail. Both guidelines include processes to protecting the natural setting of each area. These FS guidelines are located on the FS accessibility webpage at

The proposed IDs contain revisions to Forest Service Manual (FSM) chapter 2330 Publicly Managed Recreation Opportunities and FSM chapter 2350 Trail, River, and Similar Recreation Opportunities that also clarify agency terminology, procedures and existing policies related to the accessibility of outdoor recreation areas.

Written comments must be received in writing by April 18, 2005 which will be 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. Comments may be sent by mail to USDA Forest Service, Attn: Director, Recreation and Heritage Resources Staff, Mail Stop 1125, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-0003;


Written comments may be sent by electronic mail concerning the FSORAG to

Written comments concerning the FSTAG may be sent by electronic mail to


Written comments may be sent by facsimile to (202) 205-1145.


Written comments also may be submitted by following the instructions at the Federal e-Rulemaking portal,

If comments are sent by electronic means or by facsimile, the public is requested not to send duplicate comments via regular mail.

Direct URLS:





If you have questions about this comment process, please contact:

Janet A. Zeller, National Accessibility Program Manager
USDA Forest Service, Recreation and Heritage Resources

Related topics:

More resources:

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