Future of Washington’s Trails

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is asking the public to visit an online town hall and help plan the future of trails in Washington. “Whether people hike; mountain bike; ride horses, off-road vehicles or motorcycles; cross-country ski; or just walk their dogs on trails, we’d like to hear from them,” said Kaleen Cottingham, RCO director. “The online town hall meeting will let people tell us about trail issues and what they want to see in the future on their trails, all from the convenience of their own homes.” RCO is updating the state’s trails plan and the Nonhighway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities (NOVA) plan. The 2013 Washington State Trails Plan will assess progress on providing trail recreation opportunities since 1991, identify emerging issues and set the stage for future planning. The NOVA plan update will guide funding to develop and manage recreation opportunities for activities such as cross-country skiing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, sightseeing, motorcycling and riding all-terrain and four-wheel drive vehicles. “We’d like people who care about trails to tell us what’s important to include in the two trail plans we are drafting,” Cottingham said. “Input from the public is crucial for deciding what’s important to include in these plans, and ultimately how and where trails should be built and maintained in Washington.” To participate, visit the Trails Town Hall Web site at www.watrailstownhall.wordpress.com.