Study examines wealth of information to improve existing trails and plan future ones
PRATT -- The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) has announced guidelines for improvement of existing trails and development of more trails throughout the Sunflower State. Entitled Kansas State Trails Plan 2008, the 103-page document will serve as the primary planning resource to guide those who build and maintain recreational trails, their partners, and other decision-makers in efforts to provide the public with high-quality trail-use experiences.

The plan identifies needs for both existing and future trails based on review of existing plans from Kansas and across the nation, current trail facilities, as well as various studies on the subject. New reports were studied in depth and incorporated into the plan as they fit the need for better trails in Kansas. Multiple state agencies, foundations, and professional organizations were also consulted.

Kansas State Trails Plan 2008 is also intended to bring Kansas into compliance with statewide planning requirements outlined in the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), administered by the Federal Highway Administration. In Kansas, the RTP is administered by KDWP's Parks Division.

The RTP uses federal transportation funds to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail users. RTP funds are apportioned to states from motor fuel excise taxes collected on non-highway recreational fuel use, such as that used by a variety of off-highway recreation vehicles.

To download a complete version of Kansas State Trails Plan 2008, go the KDWP website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us, click on "State Parks" at the top of the page, then "2008 Trails Plan" in the left-hand column.