- Hagan, John
Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences
- Wilkerson, Ethel
Manoment Center for Conservation Sciences
The U.S. Forest Service identified public recreation as one of the four greatest threats to forestland. To quantify the impact of recreation trails on forested landscapes we sampled 112 trail segments (55 motorized, 26 mountain bike & hike, 31 hike-only) in Maine and New Hampshire. We collected data at 11 random points along a trail segment (2km or 5km), continuously along the segment, and at stream crossings. On each trail segment we assessed the condition of stream crossings, quantified physical trail parameters (width, crosssectional area, occurrence of excessively muddy and rutted sections), and selected ecological (presence of invasive species) and social (presence of trash) indicators. At locations where recreation trails crossed stream channels we classified sediment inputs as none, trace (visible, but minor), measurable (forms sediment fan), and catastrophic (significantly alters stream morphology).