Rural System's


Building high quality hiking and riding trails is difficult. It is an almost lost art. There is artistry in locating them, constructing them with native materials, and paying attention to the environment through which they go.

Trails and related developments may enable alternative strategies to return-to-contour work. We know of expert staff, have experience, and have access to modern equipment to build these trails (not roads). Trails are a first essential to learning the land, exploring its potentials, avoiding resource conflicts, creating primary firebreaks, and opening the areas for year-around profitable use. A well-trained and equipped trail building crew, the Stoneworms, is needed. Official Avi is one user of the service. Trails between campsite will be important. The Wildland Crew may help in maintaining some trails. University students may become involved.

After development of trails throughout the area (including that with superior new equipment), services can be marketed to public land agencies, gardeners, and others. The work needed is in trail layout (with GIS optimization), trail construction (with special trails for the handicapped), trail maintenance and supervision, and trail signs (see The Products Group). Special work will be needed for The Stables Group for horseback riding trails. Pastures and rangelands present special trail building and maintenance problems (see The Pasture and Range Group). Work with substances from the Walnut Vales for trail coating and trailside applications will be likely.
A wooden cross-trail open drainage device

Increasingly, trails become firelines as well as effective access to wildfires.

The Rollers, an ancillary group, may be developed. The courts throughout the state require juvenile offenders to perform community service. Often there are only meaningless or demeaning tasks to perform. We propose to contact the courts to work with the conservation and educational objectives of the Rural System and request that youths and others be assign to work on trails within the Rural System Tracts. Specially selected staff will work to provide healthful, meaningful positive outdoor work experiences. Benefits will be the equivalent of minimum hourly wages not otherwise required.

Plans in 2003 seem to be for the US Forest Service to contract much work on the Forests, opening local opportunities.

Simple foot bridge parts can be readily carried to a site and assembled. Given special design attention as provided by Brad Rimbey (shown here), wide spans over fast flowing streams can be provided.

Distinctive designs can enhance trails. Here a narrow foot bridge spans an intermittent streambed.
Design by Brad Rimbey
Treated woods can be used. Vertical posts provide hand-holds.
See Trail notes for The Trevey.

Sample Text for Projects: A US Forest Service Action, November, 2000

The Forest Service intends to prepare an environmental impact statement to disclose the environmental consequences of the proposed Interface Recreation Trails Project on the Calaveras Ranger District of the Stanislaus National Forest. The agency proposes to design a system of recreation routes, determine the uses that can occur on each route in the system, and develop measures to protect natural resources on approximately 8,600 acres of National Forest System lands. Hiking, horseback riding, mountain bike riding, off-highway vehicle riding, and street legal vehicle riding are the uses being considered in this analysis. The purpose of the proposal is to provide a variety of recreation opportunities for route users while protecting the natural resources, minimizing conflicts between recreationists and others, and promoting public safety.

In 2005, a USFS employee was quoted in a national newspaper as saying "We donít have much of a recreation program because the funding has changed so drastically. The trails arenít in the condition we would like to see them in. The campgrounds donít get taken care of the way they used to." The needs seem real for the Stoneworms.

See Appalachian Trail work pictures and club work in Maine.

Charter Trips

We arrange the trip you want with the absolute minimum of fuss and bother on your part.
Probably no one makes it easier.

Perhaps you will share ideas with me about some of the topic(s) above .

Rural System
Robert H. Giles, Jr.
July 2, 2005