A June, 2013, study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Forest Service has a deferred trail maintenance backlog that exceeds $500,000,000, and only one-quarter of the agency’s 158,000 miles of trails meet the agency’s standard for maintenance. This maintenance backlog is causing access and safety issues for equestrians and all trail users on National Forests.
The National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 (S.1110) would direct the Forest Service to take several key actions to help address the trail maintenance backlog. These actions include development of a national strategy to expand the use of volunteers and partners in National Forest trail maintenance and creation of a priority trail maintenance program to identify and direct resources to areas with the greatest need for trail maintenance. This bill is strongly supported by the American Horse Council.
The AHC urges all recreational riders and trail users to contact their Senators and ask them to support the National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 (S.1110) and to please co-sponsor this legislation.
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