Success Stories: Mark Twain National Forest Trail Work Completed by Student Conservation Association

Success Stories Mark Twain National Forest Trail Work Completed by Student Conservation Association By: By Ashlee Ransom on Jun 6, 2011 Original article can be found at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/ssrs/story?id=5860 Recovery Act funded Student Conservation Association to complete Trail Assessment and Condition Surveys on Mark Twain National Forest. Mark Twain National Forest received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for a project with Student Conservation Association to assist with doing an inventory and maintaining the forest trail system by conducting Trail Assessment and Condition Surveys. “Partnering with Student Conservation Association not only helps Mark Twain National forest with trail system maintenance, but it creates student employment opportunities and encourages students to become stewards of the land,” said Nancy Feakes, Mark Twain National Forest recreation manager. Mark Twain National Forest offers numerous outdoor recreational opportunities for the public including various trails consisting of hiking trails, multi-use trails that are slared by hikers, horseback riders and mountain bkikers, motorized vehicle trails, and one water trail. As an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project, Student Conservation Association crews have collected information on trail conditions since middle of February 2011. Data collected will show where all trail features and hazards are located, and include recommendations for where trails need to be repaired, relocated, or decommissioned. Crews also used Global Positioning Systems to provide more precise location points on trails in order to create accurate public maps. “Without organizations like Student Conservation Association, forests could not accomplish as much work on extensive trail system,” said Leon LaVigne. LaVigne is the trails program manager for the Eastern Region, USDA Forest Service, which includes Mark Twain National Forest. The mission of Student Conservation Association is “to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of our environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land.” “This is my fourth time participating on a Student Conservation Association crew,” said Nettina Conkey from Happy Camp, California. “I love to hike on trails and I feel good knowing that I played a role in maintaining them.” Feakes said Student Conservation Association crews will not be able to survey all of Mark Twain National Forest’s trail system, but their work will go a long way in helping the Forest Service achieve that goal. “This project will allow the forest to address critical deferred maintenance and safety concerns, and to enhance visitors experience on Mark Twain National Forest trails,” Feakes said. For more information, visit Mark Twain National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/mtnf