In this issue:
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) posted a Wildlife and Roads website as part of a National Cooperative Highway Research Program project titled Evaluation of the Use and Effectiveness of Wildlife Crossings. It is a resource for mitigating the effects of roads on wildlife, using wildlife crossings such as overpasses, underpasses, and crosswalks. It includes a step-by-step decision guide for practitioners.
The America's Byways Resource Center, in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byways Program, executed three phases of research in association with the development of a Public Awareness Strategy for America's Byways®. The 2006/2007 Longwoods Travel USA® Personal Vehicular Travel Analysis and Custom Image & Positioning Research studies identified America's Byways' three priority segments as Touring, Special Event, and Outdoor travelers. This research can be found on the America's Byways Resource Center website.
In order to attract these travelers, we are looking ahead and would like input from you on story and theme ideas for the National Scenic Byways Program website for travelers, www.byways.org, which includes Activities and Features related to America's Byways®.
"Activities" on the byways.org homepage consists of an in-depth look at one theme and includes stories from many of America's Byways® centered on that theme. Past "Activities" stories include Birdwatching, Fall Foliage, and Snowmobiling: see www.byways.org/explore/activities for a complete list of stories. The stories are sorted by State and are listed with the article. There are usually a minimum of 10 America's Byways® in this "Activities" section.
"Feature" stories are about aspects of the America's Byways® experience. Examples include Family Adventures, Gourmet Road-tripper, Oceans and Great Lakes on America's Byways®, etc. See www.byways.org/stories for a complete list of stories.
If you would like to submit an idea for a story, or propose a theme for the "Feature" or "Activities" stories on byways.org that is part of the traveler experience on America's Byways® (National Scenic Byway or All-American Road), please send information to Angel@byways.org. The online team will have initial approval of the ideas/themes/information sent, then forward to the individual byways for final approval.
The Bureau of Land Management released the National Scenic and Historic Trails (NSHT) Training Needs Assessment Final Report. This document contains recommendations and detailed comparison of task importance, frequency, and skill level for 77 tasks based on 232 responses to the training survey.
The Needs Assessment website contains both the survey report and an Excel "pivot" table that enables one to further analyze the data by type of agency, trails experience, job title, job scope, and other respondent categories. Through this task analysis and subsequent strategy recommendations, we can provide training and resources to narrow or eliminate skill and knowledge gaps. This will benefit trail users, the public at large, and future generations who have yet to experience and appreciate these trails.
Do you know about the National Trails System Memorandum of Understanding? This MOU encourages long-term interagency coordination and cooperation under the authorities of the National Trails System Act to enhance visitor satisfaction, to coordinate trailwide administration and site-specific management, to protect resources, to promote cultural values, to foster cooperative relationships, to share technical expertise, and to fund lands and resources associated with the National Trails. Find out more on the National Trails System website.
American Trails: Trail Tracks April 3, 2008: www.americantrails.org/enews.html. Top stories include Action Alerts, awards and recognitions, trail news and features, training and education, trail resources, and trail links.
America's Byways Bulletin April 4, 2008: http://bywaysonline.org/program/bulletin/. Top stories include: Section 4(f) Final Rule, the USDOT's Rural Safety Initiative, information on grants management, and Byway related resources.
American Hiking Society National Trails Day: www.americanhiking.org/ntd.aspx. National Trails Day event registration is open.The slogan for NTD 2008, Join Us on the Trail, is an open invitation to all Americans to get outside, connect with local hiking clubs, outdoor retailers, local parks and recreation departments or federal land managing agencies to experience everything the great outdoors has to offer. This year also will highlight the 40th Anniversary of the National Trails System Act.
State Trail Administrators: Please submit ideas for the 2008 State Trail Administrators Meeting to Jonathan LeClere and Stuart Macdonald. This will take place November 13-15, 2008, prior to the National Trails Symposium. State Trail Administrators are welcome to develop tracks, breakout sessions, etc. Suggested topics so far include: