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News from America's Trails

From the Spring 2002 edition of Trail Tracks, the national newsletter of American Trails


Arizona Trail Association wins AHS Award

Governor Jane Hull announced the Arizona Trail Association's selection as National Winner of the American Hiking Society's Trails for Tomorrow Award. More than 1,000 volunteers spent National Trails Day last year working on the Arizona Trail and on other trails in Arizona. The Association received a $4,000 grant from the American Hiking Society to honor their efforts.

"Trails are an important part of the fabric of a community and the Arizona Trail Association, working with Arizona's rural towns and counties, is showing how these partnerships can grow," said Jan Hancock, president of the Arizona Trail Association. When completed this 790-mile trail from Mexico to Utah will connect communities, historic sites, mountain ranges, trail systems, wilderness areas, canyons, deserts, and forests, while providing an outstanding experience for hikers, equestrians, mountain bicyclists, runners, pack stock users, cross-country skiers, snowshoers and nature enthusiasts.


Governor declares 2002 "Year of Trails"

Governor Bill Owens proclaimed 2002 Colorado's Year of Trails on March 1. The proclamation kicks off a year of celebrating Colorado's world class trail system that connects Colorado's communities and landscape. "More than 90 percent of Coloradans use trails, with the average household enjoying trails nearly 80 times per year," Gov. Owens said. "Trails are vital to our healthy Colorado lifestyle and they provide the perfect outdoor classroom to learn more about our incredible landscape."

Colorado's State Trails Program will coordinate statewide promotion of trails and their benefits, and is assisting communities and trail groups in holding dozens of events throughout Colorado during 2002. All varieties of trails and greenways will be showcased, including urban greenways, high peak trails, community parks, and motorized trails.


Governor proposes 120-mile linear state park

During his annual State of the Commonwealth address in January, Gov. Paul Patton proposed creating a 120-mile-long state park along the ridge of Pine Mountain along the border with Virginia. The "linear state park" would stretch from Elkhorn City to Pineville and eventually connect with the 280-mile Cumberland Trail State Park being developed in Tennessee. About 30 percent of what would be Pine Mountain Trail State Park already is in public ownership.

While the project is supported by the Pine Mountain Trail Conference, opposition has surfaced from the Kentucky Coal Association, which fears mining restrictions in the area. However, the oil and gas industry has helped identify landowners willing to negotiate easements with the state, according to the Governor's staff. The Land and Water Conservation Fund and federal transportation funds are eyed as possible funding sources for land needing to be acquired.


Gwynns Falls Trail system progresses

This 14-mile trail corridor runs along the Gwynns Falls stream to the Patapsco River and the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, linking 30 Baltimore neighborhoods and 2000 acres of parkland and trails. Enhancement funding has supported the construction of over 8 miles of trail. The City's Recreation and Parks Department has hired a full time Trail Manager to schedule public education classes and events as well as make sure that maintenance goes smoothly.

To help organize long term maintenance and management of the trail, the City worked with the Trust for Public Land and the Parks and People Foundation to establish the Gwynns Falls Trail Council, which will assist with trail management, volunteerism, and maintenance.

West Virginia

Remembering Lu Schrader, longtime trails activist

The West Virginia trails community lost a great advocate November 8, 2001, when Lu Schrader passed away. Lu helped found the WV Rails-to-Trails Council and later forged a more inclusive trails organization that survives today, the West Virginia Trails Coalition. In this role, Lu more than any other individual was responsible for ensuring the American Discovery Trail was routed through West Virginia. He also led WVTC in the effort to establish a grassroots-supported statewide trails plan. Said Doug Wood," Perhaps most important, thanks to Lu's personal faith and commitment to family, our trail network will be a legacy left to future generations."

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